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salvamos la hosteleria

First off I want to say that of course I support the bars and restaurants here, many of which I love like my own second home and the people who own and run these places are like my family. And there are plenty of others that I respect and enjoy visiting. BUT… I have always felt it was my right to express my personal opinion about any of these places because, well, why not? It’s not like I’m anybody important.

But the ironic thing is that, since Covid, you are suddenly not allowed to say anything critical about any bar or restaurant because they are suffering, under pressure, doing their best, etc, etc. Well, I call bullshit.

A few months ago I was attacked for posting a photo on Instagram of what I call the “bread baskets of death” (you can see the recommendations I made for both restaurants and clients at the end of that post).  I mean honestly, how can any bar keep using (and reusing) these extremely unhygienic baskets (that never get washed) to transport bread and cutlery from table to table?? Especially now. Yet I was told that I was being extremely unfair to bars who were already struggling to make ends meet, etc etc blah blah.

Likewise… the bayeta? Seriously? That germ infested rag that gets slopped over your table between customers. I have noticed many places are now using paper towels to clean tables which should be the only way of properly cleaning tables during a pandemic. And those are the places I feel safe going back to.

Also… masks. I can’t tell you how many places I have walked away from when I saw that the kitchen staff weren’t wearing masks at all, or the bar staff wore sloppy fitting cloth masks that kept slipping down and exposing their noses. It should be common knowledge now that cloth masks aren’t worth shit, but if you want to wear your logo it’s perfectly fine to double up and wear the logo mask over the recommended surgical one. Recently I’ve seen this being done in a few places and I applaud them.

But worst of all… those bars and restaurants that do not shut down for the required ten days when they find out one of their staff has tested positive for Covid. I only know of a couple places in Sevilla that have done the right thing, announcing their temporary closure. I have also been told by other people working in bars that they had Covid and were only sent home for a few days, meanwhile the bar stayed open. This is not okay, or even legal. Also… are bars and restaurants required to do regular testing??

There are many more infractions that I’ve witnessed over the past year (or since bars were allowed to reopen again last June): And it’s not only upsetting, it also really makes me sad. I mean, I understand how hard it is for everyone to try and keep going with all the restrictions. But hey, SAME FOR ME and many others whose businesses are largely tourism based (hotels, tour guides, wineries). I haven’t worked since last March, and I am probably not going to be able to work again safely until next spring. So I think maybe the hospitality industry should also recognise they aren’t the only ones hurting and stop jumping on people who can provide some constructive criticism. Because that criticism, those observations, are actually meant to help, not harm. And especially when it comes from people who work closely with hospitality and tourism. People who actually love you and want to help. But you have to stop being so defensive and … listen.

Also, you want respect? Then please start treating us – your clients – with respect too. Make it a two-way conversation when you don’t like something you’ve seen written about you or the industry, etc. Open up a discussion, even a debate. Learn from it. I think you might be surprised to find out that we are all on the same side.