Hospitality manager about new measures: ‘This is disappointing and causes anger’


Reducing opening hours even further is ‘the death knell for many companies’. That is what restaurant owner Robèr Willemsen thinks. On Monday evening, Prime Minister Rutte and Minister of Health De Jonge announced that the last walk-in in the catering industry will be at 9 p.m. and that the business must close at 10 p.m.

This is causing more problems in the industry, says Willemsen. He is chairman of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland and manager of various venues in and around Rotterdam. “Because of this decision, there is just no time at two shifts to do.”

Willemsen is frustrated that ‘his industry’ has to absorb the blows of this corona crisis. “This is disappointing and it causes anger. There is hardly any substantiation as to why the measures are being tightened up in the hospitality industry.”

‘They are strange measures’

He also believes that the industry is not being asked for advice. For example, the number of people who may sit outside on the terrace is now a maximum of 40 and groups may consist of no more than four people. Inside, the number of visitors remains 30. “These are strange measures. Large companies can easily accommodate thirty people. So the thirty people inside have not been carefully considered.”

This measure removes an entire target group. “Group outings, staff parties, friends, you are not going to have all of them. The holidays are coming and people have to make decisions. That is all gone.”


Willemsen feels that the sector is not being asked for advice. “If you want to take measures, talk to us. It is almost impossible that they do not see how this affects us. And if they do, then I do not understand that they are taking these measures anyway.”

Now that the measures are being tightened, Willemsen will consider for the second time in a year which of his cases can remain open. “You think the government wants the best for you, but I’m starting to doubt that.”

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