Restaurants optimistic with the downgrade of NCR alert Level status but cite labor shortage as possible problem
Food and Nature

Restaurants optimistic with the downgrade of NCR alert Level status but cite labor shortage as possible problem

Restaurant owners are quite excited about the easing of pandemic restrictions allowing restaurants and other food establishments to operate at 100 percent capacity.

Eric Teng, president of Resto Ph, said they remain confident of staff and customer safety because health protocols have been in place since two years ago.

He also assured that despite the ease in restrictions, restaurants would remain vigilant with reinforced measures for health and safety.

“But of course we follow all protocols, requirements by IATF, we have our in house safety officers, but the difference now po sa alert level one, of course, you can now dine face-to-face,” he said.

“We have increased capacity since February, and as you’ve seen also the cases have consistently gone down.So we’re ‘cautiously optimistic that things will really be much better coming into the next few months,” he said in an interview with The Chiefs.

Teng also responded to concerns from the health sector that the downgrade of the alert level could be too early as restaurants still need to improve on the ventilation aspects of their establishments to ensure the safety of their customers.

“Previously, we’ve had safety seals which are given by LGUs and they’d inspect our restaurants if satisfactory and safety protocols and equipments namin. In our case, our restaurants are located inside malls and the air exchange system of the mall is actually quite good,” he said.

Apart from these safeguards, he also explained that restaurants have exhaust systems that suck the smoke out from the kitchen to keep the air in the dining area fresh.

One of the main challenges, he said that they might be faced with is manpower shortage.

“But frankly there’s a labor shortage in the restaurant industry because when you close restaurants for two years, we’re handicapped with a lot of rules, marami pong mga restaurant workers would not work in the restaurant.especially po since transportation is a daily hell that they have to go through just to get to the restaurants,” he said.

 

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