Caterers in Serbia assessed today that they have been the most punished sector since the beginning of the pandemic, because even now, when their working hours are extended, they are not allowed to allow music, not only “live” but also from men’s devices after 6 p.m.
The representative of the association Protector of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs, Sladjana Trajković, told Beta that it is inadmissible that the Crisis Staff did not lift the ban on broadcasting music.
“The caterers are in big trouble because, apart from the fact that they have mostly not worked for 15 months since the pandemic started and that they have not received almost any relief, they cannot attract guests even now because they will not sit in ‘grave’ silence,” said Trajković.
She added that it is illogical that matches, sports competitions and other gatherings are allowed, and that caterers are forbidden to broadcast music from music devices as well.
The fact that, as she said, some do not respect the measures that are in force means that they risk the inspection knocking on their door or one of the citizens reporting them to the communal police or inspection.
She said that the problem is that the caterers paid taxes on the gardens even when they were not working, and that when the request for a garden permit is submitted in Belgrade, they wait for several months for approval.
The owner of the restaurant “Vrteška” in Belgrade, Dejan Petković, assessed that there is no reason for caterers to continue to be discriminated against and their right to broadcast music is limited.
“We work with 20 percent of capacity and we are in a big ‘minus’, we owe for utility fees, suppliers, and we are not allowed to play music which distracts guests because they are not comfortable sitting in silence. If we play music, we risk a fine of 300,000 to 400,000 dinars “, said Petković.
The owner of the “Stara kapetanija” restaurant, Stevan Rodić, said that he did not see a difference in the impact on the pandemic between “music day and night”.
“I see no justifiable reason not to allow music in restaurants for up to 24 hours. Everything is functioning normally, except for restaurants, the corona is spreading in factories and they are working,” said Rodic.
He pointed out that the caterers started “eating the substance of the company a long time ago and that they have nowhere else to go because they are forbidden to work, and they are not free from debts”.
He added that it is good that there are no mass fines for those who do not respect the ban on broadcasting or performing live music in restaurants, but that they are under constant stress whether an inspection will occur.