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Chefs in Italy React as Restaurants are Forced to Close at 6pm

26 October, 2020
New Decree For Italian Restaurants Forces Evening Closure for One Month

DPCM 25 October 2020: Chefs and Associations React

Fipe-Confcommercio has expressed its opposition to the closure of public establishments at 6 pm. "The opposition adds to the awareness that there is no connection between the attendance of public establishments and the spread of infections, as demonstrated by scientific sources, which attribute it to other factors - mobility, the school system and the world of work - the main sources of contagion," reads an official note.

An event scheduled to take place in 21 piazzas across Italy remains in place for 28 October, to reaffirm the value of the sector and save over 350 thousand jobs and the future of over 50,000 companies. 

Ambasciatori del Gusto, an association chaired by chef Cristina Bowerman, has launched an appeal: "We have already demonstrated this with the facts and we reiterate it: we are ready to make sacrifices for public health and for the good of the country but we ask for respect for our industry through concrete involvement in the decision-making process and an immediate clarification about the economic measures necessary to avoid bankrupting the entire catering sector, to be applied as a matter of urgency." 

JRE Italia are also very bitter: "We feel deeply affected, but absolutely not guilty, we have to pay for the negligence of others. We immediately committed ourselves to complying with the rules and adapting to all health-related safety and distancing rules. This is also in the face of important investments, despite the very hard blow we have received. That's why restaurants and all activities that comply with these rules have the right to be put in a position to work. The problem is not us, we cannot always be the scapegoat for this situation. The closure at 6pm prevents us restaurateurs from working. Closing at 6 pm means closing completely. And if this is what we are forced to do, then the need for support, as has happened in other countries, is essential."

These are the words of Ristoratori Uniti on Instagram: "Today is world pasta day, the pasta emblem of Italian cuisine, tradition, gastronomic culture, today 25 October 2020 should have been a day of celebration, for us cooks, waiters and restaurateurs, in reality today is a day of mourning for Italian catering. Restaurants have the misfortune that people also eat in the evening, because if they ate treats and spaghetti and lasagna even in the morning or at 5:30pm we wouldn't have a problem."

Raffaele Alajmo, the chef from Le Calandre in Rubano, together with his three-Michelin-starred brother Massimiliano, is very clear: "If you force us to close you must help us, do not force us into debt."

An upset Niko Romito has made his voice heard, with a moving post on Instagram: "Tonight's dinner on 25 Sunday October, will probably be the last for many restaurants in Italy."

"Our restaurants will remain open in accordance with the indications of the government decree. We will continue to safely welcome our customers and all those who visit us out of necessity or pleasure."

Luca Marchini, the Michelin-starred chef of L'Erba del Re in Modena, also reacted: "From tomorrow my concerns for a 'rebirth' after the lockdown in May are only growing: this time my opponent will no longer be just health security and the achievement of economic security, but also an external forced and meditated relentlessness towards my sector. How much bitterness and despair if I just think about my dreams, my efforts, my entrepreneurial goals achieved. But even more so much bitterness and embarrassment in front of all my guys who have been sharing all this great work with me for years. We will continue... because we are 'alive', tenacious, conscientious and ... Italians."

"We ask to be able to work and live normally, this is not how they can save the economy: in this way they will sink it, and they will not only ruin restaurateurs, but everyone", says Gaetano Simonato, the Michelin-starred chef from Tano Passami l'Olio restaurant in Milan, who also announced two protests scheduled in the Lombardy capital: Monday, 26 October, in Largo 11 Settembre at 3pm, and Wednesday, 27 October, at 2.30pm in front of Palazzo Marino.

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