ALCOHOL BAN

Restaurant owners petition to lift public alcohol sale ban

The ban was a big blow to restaurants, hotels and bar owners who said they had complied with Ministry rules to resume operations

In Summary
  • Forecasts indicate that the restaurant industry in Kenya could lose over 3 million jobs and sustain billions of shillings in losses if this continues.
  • Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta banned sale of alcohol in public as a Covid-19 containment measure.
John Brian, an employee at Cafe Deli Restaurant delivers an order during the reopening after weeks of lockdown restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, along Kenyatta avenue in Nairobi, Kenya June 11, 2020.
John Brian, an employee at Cafe Deli Restaurant delivers an order during the reopening after weeks of lockdown restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, along Kenyatta avenue in Nairobi, Kenya June 11, 2020.
Image: REUTERS/ THOMAS MUKOYA

Hotel keepers and restaurant owners have initiated a public petition for the  sale of alcohol in restaurants after the Presidential  30 day ban.

“The COVID pandemic is the largest crisis our restaurant industry in Kenya has ever faced and the ban on the sale of alcohol in sit-down restaurants is yet another crippling blow to our already hard-hit businesses,” the hotel keepers statement read.

Forecasts indicate that the restaurant industry in Kenya could lose over 3 million jobs and billions of shillings in lost business. 

 

“We need your help to fight the economic and social impact of the Corona Virus! Help us lift the alcohol ban for all law-abiding restaurants,” the statement read.

Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta banned sale of alcohol in public as a Covid-19 containment measure.

Hotels are only allowed to serve alcohol to their checked-in clients on room service basis.

He said the government had noted that people were socialising with zero regard to protective behaviour in environments selling alcohol.

Individuals found flouting the rule risk a Sh20,000 fine, a jail term of six months or both.

The announcement was a big blow to restaurants, hotels and bar owners who said they had complied with Ministry of Health regulations. 

The sector has been grappling with job losses since the onset of Covid-19 due to the various restrictions set to reduce the spread of the virus.

Country-wide, more than 20,000 outlets have been shut, according to the Pubs Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya (Perak).

 

The ravaging effects of Covid-19 on bars and restaurants also saw East African Breweries Limited (EABL) record a nine per cent decline in net sales for the financial year ended 30 June 2020.

The pandemic impacted EABL’s business performance after three consecutive double-digit growths, with profit for the year declining by 39 per cent to Sh7 billion from Sh11.5 billion in the previous year.