Over 9,500 Restaurants in CDMX Now Serve Diners OutsideBy Jan Hogewoning | Wed, 01/20/2021 - 19:34
On Monday, restaurants in Mexico City were allowed to reopen to serve guests on open air terraces. While not a possibility for many establishments, it has provided some relief, albeit limited, to many restaurants that were on the verge of a financial collapse due to the ban on indoor onsite dining. The new rule is a compromise from the Mexico City administration, which faced significant protests from restaurant owners and several representative bodies over the last few weeks. Mexico City Governor Claudia Sheinbaum confirmed this Tuesday that 9,568 restaurants had opened for open-air dining, stating that the vast majority were meeting the prescribed sanitary measures, with only 250 having significant problems.
Sanitary measures are stipulated under the scheme Reactivar sin arriesgar (Reactivate Without Posing a Risk), which is being enforced by inspectors from the Institute for Administrative Verification (INVEA). One of these measures is that after 6 p.m., restaurants are only offering food for take-away or home delivery. INVEA stated that on Monday, it had made physical inspections of only 250 locations. The 9,568 restaurants are part of 19,845 establishments that have been identified by the Ministry of Economic Development (SEDECO) as eligible for this reopening. Claudia emphasized that she continues to monitor the situation, taking further steps in accordance with the severity of the COVID-19 hospitalization rates.
El Sol de Mexico reports that several agricultural suppliers located in Mexico City have already begun to receive orders from restaurants for fresh produce. Asael Meléndez García, who runs an organization called Sabor Chinampa that cultivates varies species of lettuce, beets, herbs and edible flowers, told El Sol de México that while this has given her business some new hope, growers are not out of the woods yet. One problem is that many restaurants have gone out of business completely, while not paying their debts to their suppliers. The pandemic has left Meléndez’s business with MX$95,000 (US$4845.88) in unpaid deliveries. Payment uncertainty remains with restaurants that are ordering now. “What is going to be delivered today, they will pay until February,” she explained.