Update 2: Following the government announcement on 13 October, restaurants, cafes and bars will be shut from 10pm on 14 October for a period of 4 weeks (to be reviewed after 2 weeks).
Update 1: Restaurants are permitted to open from 1 June.
From 18.00 on 15 March until 6 April (at the earliest), the Dutch government has requested a shutdown of catering businesses across the country. If you want to know more about the specifics, check out some of the local news and info sites: Nu.nl, NOS, DutchNews.
Whilst this is a necessary measure (my opinion / don’t @ me / we can agree to disagree, etc), the effects of this could be severely detrimental for many businesses and their owners and employees.
Here are 3 ways we can help the catering industry and our local businesses during this time:
1. Keep buying from catering businesses where possible
Many delivery businesses are still operating and many restaurants, cafes and food vendors have created delivery or to-go services in place of their usual sit-down setup.
2. Buy gift vouchers now to use once catering businesses are open again
If you know you’ll eat or drink at a business once it re-opens or you have somewhere that you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t yet visited, then consider buying a gift voucher now so that they are receiving income even during the shutdown.
Or if you have gifts to buy for a birthday or other celebration, then also consider a restaurant voucher above other options at this time.
Email or call the companies to make arrangements. Try to limit in person contact wherever possible during this time.
3. Save for a meal out once catering businesses re-open
Get a jar, tin, envelope, piggy bank or something else and put a little bit of money away each day or week during the shutdown to use specifically at restaurants or cafes once they re-open.
If you usually buy a coffee every day or eat out twice a week, put that same amount of money into your savings pot now to use it at catering businesses when they re-open.
The important thing to remember throughout this crazy period (and in regular life too) is to be kind, help others where you can, and try to keep yourself and others healthy.