- Spur's COO Mark Farrelly has announced that all Spur and Panarottis restaurants will remain closed beyond the lockdown
- The group is adamant that they will not operate as long as restrictions governing the number of customers and liquor are in place
- With the prospect of the lockdown being lifted soon looking increasingly unlikely, this does not bode well for the franchises
Spur chief operating officer Mark Farrelly has sent a letter to the group's landlords, adamant that they will be playing hardball after lockdown.
BusinessInsider reports that the franchisers had had battled when restrictions were first imposed, limiting the number of citizens allowed in restaurants as well as the times during which liquor could be sold.
The subsequent lockdown, according to the group, came as something of a relief and apparently all Spur and Panarottis restaurants will remain closed even after lockdown has been lifted.
As long as restrictions are imposed on the industry, the iconic restaurant group will not operate, highlighting immense losses during the beginning of the ordeal.
Ultimately, it would be cheaper to keep the doors closed than it would be to operate under restrictions.
Farrelly told landlords that the lockdown had come as a relief to the group, explaining that:
"The restricted trade was so injurious that the lockdown almost came as a relief as the cost of individual closures was preferable to the hideous trading losses our franchisees were incurring. On average, our turnovers dropped over 70%, and it proved impossible to run a viable business with the restrictions in place."
The group has not indicated when it plans to reopen, telling customers that they will be updated when the time comes.
Landlords were told by Farrelly that the winter season may be rough for sit-down restaurants:
"One of our major concerns is that we are going into winter (the flu season) and rightfully, people will continue to be alarmed by anyone coughing and sneezing."
Daily Sun reports that the group has over 600 outlets, directly employing over 30 000 people.
Briefly.co.za reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had commented on the lockdown, saying that the economy would be reopened in stages as opposed to all at once.
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