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Caterers ‘in trouble’ after ‘worst Christmas ever’

Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

The Gibraltar Catering Association said members had reported “a disastrous Christmas,” with bookings down around 50% on average compared to normal years.

The GCA said the main reason cited by customers was the advice from the Gibraltar Government and Public Health advising patrons to 'avoid Christmas parties and gatherings.’

“As soon as the announcement was made group bookings cancelled reservations en masse for key Christmas dates,” the GCA said in a statement.

“This downfall in trade has compounded a terrible couple of years for bars and restaurants which has included lock downs, stringent public health measures for venues and a decimated summer trade due to international restrictions.”

“The crippling Social Insurance raise, increases in water and electricity, rent increases and supplier price hikes has heaped further misery on an already struggling sector.”

“Many businesses have been in survival mode for far too long with many owners not drawing a wage and running at a loss whilst their debt mountain rises, it is quickly becoming an unsustainable business model for a growing number [of] industry partners.”

“The industry is in trouble and would like to reach out to the Government for dialogue with a view to mirroring the UK Government’s willingness to assist the hospitality sector needs.”

“Help needs to come quickly as closures are highly likely given hospitality is entering low season with well below average Christmas takings to survive the difficult winter months.”

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