The Government’s imposition of a 10pm closing time on pubs and restaurants in a move to allay a rise in Covid-19 infections could spell the end of an award-winning restaurant, its owner has warned.
Alex Clayton described the new restrictions as a “kick in the teeth for the restaurant and pub sectors” and is planning to open the doors at Tasca Dali earlier to compensate for the lost hour.
Since reopening in July after the national shutdown, the Spanish restaurant, in Warwick, has introduced measures including a 1m self-distancing rule and reduced customer capacity by a third.
Alex said: “We have already had a capacity for diners reduced by 55% and now we shall lose the late turn of diners. Quite how an hour reduction in dining by one hour will have a positive impact on Covid transmission is mind boggling – I am not sure how we shall survive.
“Lockdowns and curfews do not work, responsible behaviour is the way to go, not the constant flip-flopping and scare-mongering we see from those that should know better. At the end of the day, our survival will come down to our amazing and loyal clients.
“We shall now be opening at 5pm every day for dinner Monday to Sunday with our award winning tasting menu. Diners can book in for 5pm-7 pm, 7pm-9pm, 6pm-8pm or 8pm-10pm.
“That way we hope to accommodate as many people as we can given the new guidelines and the distancing measures.”
Measures in place to make the premises COVID-secure include tables set on arrival and disinfected between guests, no tablecloths, the use of paper napkins and staff wearing masks.
The restaurant is also one of very few to use a state-of-the-art air cleaning and recirculation system. The NASA technology uses ultra-violet light to sanitise the air as well as the surfaces it lands on.
Last September, after six years in High Street, Tasca Dali was named Spanish Restaurant of the Year in the Birmingham Restaurant Awards. But the restaurant now faces weathering more tough times.
Alex said: “These are incredibly complex times but thanks to our hardworking team, our customers and even the flexibility of our reservation software, I do hope we can make it through.”
The Prime Minister’s new measures follow the UK’s Covid-19 alert level being raised from 3 to 4, with warnings from Government scientists that cases of the virus are doubling every seven days.
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