LISTEN: Takeaway association warns 2,000 jobs at risk following latest COVID-19 restrictions

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By Q Radio News

The Northern Ireland Takeaway Association has warned that up to 2,000 jobs are at risk in the sector with the announcement of the latest raft of lockdown measures.

Director, Michael Henderson said that without immediate financial aid up to 25% of takeaways will close.

“With the latest restrictions now set to cut well into December the entire sector is at grave risk,” he said. 

“Without financial support for the takeaway sector we believe around a quarter of all takeaways in Northern Ireland will close resulting in a loss of over 2,000 jobs.

“Already we have seen a huge reduction in trade with the closure of hospitality with reduced numbers of walk-ins. This has resulted in a loss of 30% of the average trading.”

Mr Henderson said the restrictions in trading will also have a massive impact.

Michael Henderson

He added: “The arbitrary decision to not allow deliveries after 11pm has also had a devastating effect.

“This has produced an average loss of 40% with no explanation from the executive on why this was put in place even though the rest of UK and ROI currently have no restrictions on deliveries even at the highest level of lockdown.

“The 11pm restrictions means takeaways have to get all orders out on time to customers with a high standard of food quality; they would be limited to taking last orders around 9:45pm. s most takeaways within Northern Ireland do not open until 5pm this would only give businesses only 4hours and 45mins of trade time.”

Mr Henderson said that takeaways in Northern Ireland are having to deal with losing around 70% of average trade while being expected to pay all bills and staff wages with no financial support from the executive. 

“We believe our sector has been forgotten and left hung out to dry but our Executive.”

The NI Takeaway Association that the competition for trade has become more intense.

“Restaurants have now started, understandably, operating as takeaways which makes the market even more saturated.”

Restrictions on deliveries are to be reinstated on November 20 after the current easing from today. The NI Takeaway Association will be liaising with members to keep them up to date on the constantly changing situation.

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