Poor service quality behind restaurant closures, says DOMA
The Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) said it disagrees with media reports that foreign exchange is the sole reason for the closure of restaurants in the Port-of-Spain area.
In a statement, DOMA said while it agrees that there is a persistent shortfall in the availability of foreign exchange, the restaurant trade faces other significant challenges, mainly poor service delivery.
It said this can be deduced by daily client experiences and even annual reports of public franchises.
“Some restaurants are more famous for poor service than others and it might be advisable to consider that issue as a more major factor than the frustration over foreign exchange scarcity.
We do not deny that uncertainty regarding foreign exchange is on the list of business hindrances but it as yet does NOT deserve headline billing as the cause of failure among restaurants.”
DOMA further noted that despite the failures of those businesses, larger restaurants within walking distance of the restaurants that are closing are thriving and functioning under the same foreign exchange regime.
The association admitted that Trinidad and Tobago is facing a daunting future but said there was no reason to sensationalize the situation.
“We see no reason to so carelessly inflate our challenges and to add to the instability in consumer and investor confidence that will itself become a self-fulfilling prophecy of the doomsayers.”
Messages of caution to those who scorn restaurant jobs or who fail to appreciate the need to keep businesses viable by caring for customers would be more appropriate in our view than follow fashion statements regarding our current economic circumstances."