It’s been a bleak seven months for the country’s restaurant industry but food establishments continue to fight hard not just to keep their businesses afloat but to protect the jobs of the hundreds of thousands of people who depend on the industry for their livelihood.
“We’re constantly innovating and fighting through the challenges because it is not just about business survival—it is also about nourishing and protecting the livelihood of our team.”Abba Napa, External Vice President of Restaurant Owners of the Philippines or Resto PH.
According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), revenues of restaurants and food services in the Philippines, which employs over half a million Filipinos, have dropped by 64.9 percent.
The pandemic has led to the closure of up to 20 percent of food service firms, with layoffs affecting workers in over 60 percent of the industry, as per a July 2020 survey conducted by the World Bank, the Department of Finance and NEDA. The closures have led to a lower demand, negatively impacting other food-producing sectors such as farming and fishing.
The easing of dine-in restrictions in Metro Manila and other parts of the Philippines is welcome news for Napa and her colleagues. “The easing of restrictions will be a boost to restaurants, which only means we will have to do even more to keep our shops as safe as possible in order to protect our team members, partners, and guests. We will continue to strictly implement safety guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who walks through our doors,” adds Napa, noting that more patrons are inquiring about opening hours and menu options.
Resto PH recently pledged support for Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat, the private sector-led advocacy campaign, which espouses strict adherence to safety standards in reopening and jumpstarting the economy.
“We have data that indicates that family bonding and eating out is a hugely anticipated activity among Filipinos. After months of being cooped up in our homes, it’s something we are all looking forward to,” shares Margot Torres, Managing Director for McDonald’s Philippines and co-lead of Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat. “At this point in time, building up consumer confidence is crucial to recovery.”
“This is a multi-dimensional campaign. We are not saying na bukas na (ang mga establishments), pwede nang lumabas. We know that the situation remains dynamic and we remain vigilant,” stresses George Royeca, Chief Transport Advocate of Angkas and proponent of Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat. “This is about jobs, employment, moving ourselves forward. We can’t afford to lock ourselves down at home. We need to help rebuild our economy safely and surely, today.”
The Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign also provides establishment owners and consumers with tools and information to safely travel, shop from their favorite stores, and patronize their favorite restaurants. Businesses of all sizes can participate in the campaign by downloading and using the free visual assets available on the website: www.ingat-angat.com.
The assets include downloadable safety reminder templates for print, poster, billboard, signages and wallpapers that can be used in stores and restaurants. Digital templates and a logo generator are also available on the website.
The Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign is spearheaded by the country’s biggest companies and most-recognized brands including Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Alliance Global Group (Megaworld, Resorts World, Emperador), Jollibee Foods Corporation, McDonald’s Philippines, Goldilocks, BDO, BPI, Metrobank, Paymaya, Alaska, Champion, Century Pacific Food Inc., Coca Cola Philippines, Oishi Liwayway Marketing Corp., PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble Philippines, RFM Corporation, Unilever, Petron/San Miguel Corporation, Shell, Ayala Malls, Filinvest Development Corporation, Robinsons Malls, SM Supermalls, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, Angkas and Food Panda.
Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat is part of the private sector’s support for Taskforce T3 (Test, Trace, Treat), the multi-sector initiative put together in April 2020 to work closely with the Department of Health (DOH), the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, and the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to manage the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. For more information, join the Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat Viber Community https://vb.me/IngatAngat.