AHRESP General Secretary Ana Jacinto stated that the profitability of takeout and home delivery for restaurants that have recently joined is “practically zero”. One of the reasons is the high commissions on the platforms.
In an interview with the Lusa agency, the head of the Portuguese Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Similar Companies (AHRESP) defended that companies “go to work because they have to work”, but at the end of the month they realize that “The profitability of turnover is practically zero in terms of take-away and delivery [entregas ao domicílio]”.
“In terms of supplies and commissions, which are very high and ultimately not make the business profitable, this is not the lifeline for a company, but they end up charging something to keep the people and the work routine going and not the operation to stop completely, ”said Ana Jacinto.
The Secretary-General of AHRESP said that, with the exception of companies that already had takeaway or home delivery (delivery) as their main activity prior to the pandemic, those who used these modalities to face the restrictions aimed at containing the Covid were imposed -19 “face several difficulties”.
“The first is that they don’t know these modalities well when they sign contracts with platforms [de entregas ao domicílio], they hire with the unknown because the truth is that regardless of whether the government intervened on this matter, as we know – and because they capped the commission – the commission is still high, we’re talking about 20% . ” , he explained.
“A lot of these companies don’t even have a 20% margin to pay 20% to a platform, so this is a failure to begin with,” he said, pointing out that this “is something that falls into the money “Register”, it is about an “extremely remaining and for most of them very inadequate” value.
Ana Jacinto also believed that the ban on the sale of take-away beverages is a detrimental factor for the restaurant business as it encourages consumers to go to places where they can buy food and drink together.
For AHRESP, recovery currently depends on “the government’s ability to effectively fund companies” so that they can resist until the moment of recovery.
“We have no doubt that this will happen [a retoma da procura] and perhaps even with an intensity that is perhaps even greater than what we have had in the past. What companies are here to respond to this demand? “Asked Ana Jacinto.
It is therefore a priority for AHRESP that the money reaches the companies. “Then we will soon see which ways we have to go, how we will go the ways, but now we cannot create barriers to the entry of funds into companies,” he said.
Imbalance between health and economic policies
As she recently defended in an interview with PÚBLICO, the Secretary General of AHRESP reiterates that a “necessary and desirable” balance between sanitary and economic measures has not been achieved and that support for restaurants and hotels in a “late” and “ very complex”.
“We are not able to achieve such a simple and necessary balance between sanitary and economic measures,” said the Secretary General of the Portuguese Association for Hotels, Restaurants and Similar Facilities (AHRESP) in an interview with Lusa.
Ana Jacinto believed that support for restaurants and accommodation providers seems “late” and “very complex” considering a business structure that is mostly made up of micro-businesses.
“Companies have had difficulty understanding what kind of support they can get, how they can get it, whether they are eligible or not,” the head of the association highlighted the “two main problems” paired with “insufficient support” the “complexity” of the processes.
Ana Jacinto pointed out that support measures not only “take a long time to be structured and available” when ready, “there are so many barriers” that “most entrepreneurs” leave out.
Regarding the time it takes businesses to get assistance, AHRESP said that in the case of the simplified dismissal and assistance from Turismo de Portugal, payments were made with “some speed” but this is not the case with other programs.
“For example, I have situations from companies that have resorted to the extraordinary incentive in the form of two salaries and have not yet received the second installment. And we’re talking about last year’s support, ”said the Secretary General of AHRESP.
“In the meantime, employees have salaries to be paid, these costs have to be paid, everything has to be paid for, but when the time comes, the support doesn’t come as soon as it should.” he stressed and emphasized that there are many entrepreneurs who are “with the rope around their neck and always watch when they can need another day”.
In this context, AHRESP has already proposed to the government to create a unified mechanism for access to assistance to facilitate the process, but has received no response so far.
“Entrepreneurs are not able to use each of these mechanisms in different places, with different conditions, with different eligibility requirements and often without knowing whether one or the other is better,” said Ana Jacinto.
AHRESP also warned of the need to step up and strengthen the lines of support, recalling that Apoiar.pt and Apoiar a Restauração have already exhausted their facilities and are therefore no longer accessible to more entrepreneurs.
“This support was announced in December, at a time when companies were working with declining sales, but they were working. However, we entered an unknown period of detention on December 10th, so it is obvious that support needs to be stepped up now, ”he defended himself.