Steve Paterson alerted FOHBOH on the threat of the Swine Flu to our industry. His warnings are coming true!
The actions yesterday by Mexico City government is a scary response!
Mexico City closes 35,000 restaurants until 5/5/09
Mexico City Orders Restaurants Closed on Flu Concern
By Carlos Manuel Rodriguez bloomberg.com 4/28/09
April 28 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico City’s government will order all 35,000 restaurants in the capital to close their dine-in service today through May 5 in a bid to contain a flu outbreak.
Restaurants may continue to sell food for take-out and delivery, said Angelica Patino, a city government spokeswoman.
“This is going to affect us significantly,” said Eduardo Ramirez, who oversees franchises at Taco Inn, a fast-food chain. “We are considering the complete closure of the restaurants -- take-out sales may not be enough to be worth opening.”
The restaurant plan is part of efforts by Mexico’s government to discourage public gatherings that may further spread a flu virus suspected in more than 150 deaths. The city is also ordering movie theaters, convention centers and gyms to shut down, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said.
Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB, the owner of Vips and Porton restaurants closed the dine-in operations of its 118 units in Mexico City, said spokesman Antonio Ocaranza. Walmex, as the retailer is known, is not considering any other partial closings outside Mexico City, Ocaranza said. The non-restaurant operations “are running normally,” he said.
Revenue from Walmex’s restaurant units represented 2.4 percent of 2008 sales.
Five restaurants at the Reforma 222 shopping center had closed completely as of 2 p.m. and four were offering take-out service, while the remaining 14 were operating as usual, including the food court area. A representative of the mall couldn’t be reached for comment.
Calls to representatives of McDonald’s Corp.; Controladora Comercial Mexicana SA, the owner of California cafeterias; Grupo Carso’s Sanborns and Alsea SAB, which operates Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks franchises, weren’t immediately returned.
To contact the reporter on this story: Carlos M. Rodriguez in Mexico City at firstname.lastname@example.org