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Up to 30 percent of Jakarta's restaurants could close down: PHRI

Jakarta Post - October 12, 2020

Jakarta – The Indonesia Hotel and Restaurants Association (PHRI) predicts that up to 30 percent of restaurants will close down as a result of phase II of the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Jakarta.

The PSBB phase II, which involves reimposing stricter social restrictions, including banning dine-in services at restaurants, has been in place from Sept. 14 until Oct. 11.

"Currently, 50 percent of tenants in malls are restaurants. If people cannot dine-in at restaurants, they could slash 70 to 80 percent of their employees. There is this one restaurant that used to earn between Rp 12 million [US$814] and Rp 15 million a day, but now only earns Rp 500,000 a day now. So many think it's better to just close down their businesses rather than 'bleed to death'," PHRI deputy head Emil Arifin said Saturday as quoted by tempo.co.

He added that up to 20 to 30 percent of the 5,000 existing restaurants could close. "The most severe impact has been experienced by stand-alone restaurants," he said.

He predicted that the total losses suffered by restaurants during PSBB phase II could reach Rp 20 trillion. "One restaurant alone can suffer Rp 100 to 150 million in losses a month, excluding those operating in Jakarta's satellite cities," Emil said.

He said the situation had forced restaurant owners to furlough daily wage workers, who number in the thousands.

Restaurants that initially closed temporarily will have to close permanently in the next few months, Emil said. Therefore, he asked the city administration to allow dine-in services at restaurants that imposed strict health protocols.

However, Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Agency tourism department head Bambang Ismadi said the agency had inspected 759 businesses as of Aug. 18 and punished 76 businesses for violating the protocols.

He said the agency had requested that Jakarta's Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) temporarily shut down 31 businesses for grave violations of restrictions and had collected Rp 2.75 billion (US$184,929) in fines from violations in the tourism sector.

Tourism is among the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak as people avoid crowded areas and limit their activity to avoid catching the virus. The pandemic had wiped out around Rp 85 trillion from Indonesia's tourism revenue as of July, according to data from the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI).

According to Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Agency data, more than 151,000 tourism workers in the capital had faced payroll cuts, furloughs and layoffs as of Aug. 19 due to the pandemic. In addition, around 1,900 creative economy workers have also been impacted by the outbreak. (iwa)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/10/11/up-to-30-percent-of-jakartas-restaurants-could-close-down-phri.html