Coronavirus
The campaign is intended to encourage people to eat out at their local eateries. The campaign is intended to encourage people to eat out at their local eateries.

Program helps thousands of small restaurants stay alive

Training in health measures and providing protective equipment boost confidence among customers

An initiative supported by the national restaurant association Canirac, Coca-Cola and others is helping thousands of small eateries survive the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.

Called Tu Cocina Local (Your Local Kitchen), the program provides training to staff at fondas (small, informal eateries), taquerías (taco restaurants) and torterías (sandwich shops) on the implementation of health measures that reduce the risk of coronavirus infection and make diners feel safe.

The idea is that the restaurants will attract more customers if they are seen to be taking people’s health and hygiene seriously.

The initiative has also provided social distancing screens, face shields and washable tablecloths to more than 50,000 small food businesses.

In addition, it has launched a digital campaign to encourage people to return to their local fondas, taquerías and torterías, which account for 95% of all restaurants in Mexico, according to Canirac.

More than 30,000 are at risk of closing permanently due to a downturn in sales, the restaurant association says. Tu Cocina Local aims to help as many as possible remain open and thus keep thousands of people in work.

One restaurant owner who has benefited from the program is Rocío González Díaz.

“El Volcancito is a family business. We’re the third generation. Approximately nine people work here and nine families depend on [their employment]. The pandemic has affected us in an economic sense,” she said.

González said sales fell and that she was unable to meet some costs but nevertheless she was able to keep her inexpensive eatery open.

“We didn’t have to close because the government allowed us to open at 30%. Tu Cocina Local has helped me a lot with tablecloths and partitions [to separate diners]. That’s helped a lot in terms of making customers feel safe,” she said.

In addition to Canirac and Coca-Cola, the companies Mondelēz México, Unilever, Kimberly Clark and Ragasa are supporting the initiative, which was launched in June.

Source: El Economista (sp) 

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