Shopping Centers Russia Август 2021 Август 2021 - Page 62

A significant part of the traffic of the shopping center on weekdays is also provided by food service — however, in this case, objects located in areas of business activity, for example, as part of multifunctional complexes or simply in the city center, will benefit. Office workers come to the food court, as a rule, at lunchtime, a little less often on the way home. However, with the partial transition to a remote location, their share also decreased.

As a result, on the one hand, visitors “tasted” food courts not only as a way to have a quick bite while shopping, but also as a self-sufficient pleasure, an opportunity for one family to choose dishes from different establishments — and at the same time dine at the same table. On the other hand, the actions of the authorities during the pandemic turned food courts in a certain sense into a location that is toxic for restaurateurs, and when opening it, additional and at the same time little predictable risks must be taken into account.

Getting out of the environment

The decline in morbidity noted in Moscow and St. Petersburg at the end of summer, as well as the proximity of “election day”, stimulated the relaxation of restrictions. So, in Moscow, they cancelled (almost a year and a half later) the mandatory wearing of hygienic gloves. Restaurateurs breathed a sigh of relief: if the vast majority of visitors could ignore this requirement without much risk, then the staff at the food courts were obliged to work with gloves all day, even in extreme heat (which from a hygienic point of view looks very doubtful — in contrast to the regular hand washing) — otherwise, the institution was threatened with a considerable fine.

In St. Petersburg, in early August, food courts were released. The conditions for their opening, however, were enough: first, the updating of the standard for safe activities, then the presence of separate entrances and exits for guests. It is necessary to maintain a density of visitors of no more than 1 person per 4 sq. m — and it should be controlled by an electronic counting system. All incoming guests must have their temperature measured (in addition to the requirement to do this at the entrance to the shopping center), and the distance in the queue must be strictly at least one and a half meters. In addition, all employees, without exception, must have documents confirming that they received the first or second component of the vaccine, or that they had been ill no more than six months ago. From September 1, it will not be possible to work with only one injection — if we are not talking about a single-component vaccine. From October 1, restaurants and cafes in St. Petersburg will be able to work only if 80% of their employees can confirm vaccinations or recent illness.

In terms of mandatory vaccination of personnel, the main concern of restaurateurs is caused by migrants — after all, formally, foreigners are not allowed to be vaccinated and everything depends on the decision of the regional authorities. In the capitals, Sputnik Light has already been allocated specifically for migrants, in the regions this is a little more difficult — however, according to the authorities, migrants make up no more than 12% of the total staff of food service establishments.