Cafés are calling on corporate workers to get back to the office to give their beleaguered sector a helping hand.
Dominic Jones, CEO of JPRestaurants, which owns Café Ubé, says that lunchtime and coffee shop venues are still seeing a big drop in revenue and is warning the Government and finance sector in particular to use them or lose them.
He told Express that he thought “with a lot of Government employees still working from home, it would be great for the Government to start encouraging people back,” and “good for people to come in and support town.”
“In our cafes revenues are down between 40 and 60%, but it is improving bit by bit,” he explained.
Mr Jones added that “the hospitality industry has put in some fantastic health prevention measures that the Government has signed off on", but noted that he thought that “if it’s safe to work in a café and come in as a customer, it should be safe to work in an office.”
Come on @jerseyfinance and @GovJersey summer’s over & low risk due to border testing. Time to get back to town & support local business that is being encouraged to open by Government policy. Lunchtime & coffee shop venues still over 50% down. Wait too long and you’ll lose them.— Dominic Jones (@DominicCJones) September 17, 2020
Darren Amy, Manager of Mange Tout, said that his café chain is currently 30% down on its usual revenue.
“We’re not really targeted at shoppers or visitors – our customers are office people.”
However, he also pointed out that the situation was difficult for offices and said he understands “why they are doing it” and “wouldn’t say it’s unexpected.”
Pictured: Cafés are calling for office workers, including those in the public sector, to return.
Like Mr Jones, he said he had noticed an increase in custom over the last two weeks: “A lot of offices are working on a 50/50 model. Over the coming weeks, I think that will build.”
He added that though he doesn’t think there will be a “dramatic upturn… the growth that we’re seeing is what we’re expecting and what we’re planning.”
It comes after a recent survey of more than 100 people from recruitment firm Kendrick Rose, which found that around 40% of workers still did not have a date to return to the workplace.
The Government told Express that, during lockdown, 2,000 of their office-based staff worked from home, equating to around one quarter of the workforce.
Currently, around 15% are working from home on a full or part-time basis.
Jersey Finance declined to comment.
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