Despite the easing of COVID-19 induced restrictions on public gathering, some popular eateries in the Greater Accra Region say they’re still recording low patronage.
For nearly three months, many restaurants and eateries have not operated fully as they could not host guests.
But the easing of the restrictions now permits restaurants to host clients albeit under social distancing rules.
Osu, one of Accra’s lively locations, is known for various commercial activities.
Aside from the booming trading activities and white-collar jobs in the area, there is a variety of food services including eateries, fast food joints, restaurants and chop bars.
On normal days, business is good for many of the vendors, with some of them even offering a 24 hour service.
Although they offer an essential service, they were also affected by COVID-19 induced restrictions, as they mostly had to resort to delivery and pick-up services only.
Despite the easing of the restrictions on public gathering, which allows them to host guests, the operators of these businesses say things haven’t picked up fully.
“Since February, due to the pandemic things have not been as it used to be. We came to work for some days; customers were not showing up so we had to close down sadly. We also do not make any sales. Basically about 95% of our income is gone”, Dan Afful, Manager at Pearl Chinese Restaurant in Osu lamented.
Marketing Manager of Mascow Foods Ghana, (KFC), Afua Kissi-Nyame , also explained that “even though we were an essential service and people were allowed to come in and buy food, we still felt the impact.”
Christian Akolatse, who is the CEO of Khebab King however says business is picking up slowly even though he has lost about 50% of his business to Covid-19.
“Now business is picking up gradually although hundreds used to throng my eatery, its been reduced drastically to about just 30 walk ins in a day.”
Just like other businesses, some say they have cut down employee numbers just to stay in business and avoid total collapse.
They also complained about owing food suppliers.
“Some give us the supply before we pay them , so we are in debt. But because they know the situation they are not so hard on us” Dan Afful said.
Christian, one of the operators, says he has lost nearly 50 percent of his monthly sales. He told Citi Business News the delivery service helped him greatly.
He is however better off than Dan Afful of Pearl Chinese Restaurant, who says he records almost zero patronage on some days.
Dan was hoping for a turnaround when he introduced delivery services to his customers, but says there hasn’t been a significant boost in sales.
With many businesses in full operation in the national capital, Accra, it is expected that more people will pick up their food orders by themselves or eat in the restaurants, rather than rely on delivery services.
This has automatically reduced the profit margins for some courier service providers. But the CEO of SO Courier and Logistics Company, Stacy Owusua Opare, says business is still thriving.
“If there will be a difference it will be very minimal because people still prefer our services than to go out themselves” she said.
Some operators however insist they will continue to offer the take out services to protect all their clients from Covid 19.