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Curfew Places Dining Patrons On 'Automatic'

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

A fast food restaurant says the 10pm COVID curfew has patrons on “automatic" amid a steady rush of business between 5pm and 8pm just prior to restrictions kicking in.

Mervyn Sweeting, owner/operator of Bertha’s Go-Go Ribs, told Tribune Business he prefers 8pm for closure. He added: “Where we are at on Mackey Street now, it has a tendency to have customers start piling in after six, seven or eight o'clock.”

While Bertha’s does have a lunch menu, Mr Sweeting said persons prefer his restaurant for dinner. He added: “That five o'clock and eight o'clock time is when people are trying to head home because they have become curfew centric for so long, they are now on automatic.”

Mr Sweeting said it was also noticeable that customers are now “counting their pennies” and more cautious on what they are spending.

A general manager at Sammy’s Chicken, speaking under condition of anonymity, said of the move to a 10pm curfew: “We have seen a little better flow of traffic, but it is still not where it ought to be.”

Disclosing that the business is designed for a 16-hour day, they said it desperately wants to go back to a full-day work schedule. They added: “We get the lion’s share of our traffic in the evening between 5pm and 8pm, but at that time now we are getting ready to close.”

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