Operators of Cin Cin By The Sea, Primo Bar & Bistro and Hugo’s Barbados have announced the closure of the three restaurants, citing several factors, including rising operating costs, heavy taxes and declining revenue.
In a media release today, chief executive officer Joanne Pooler said it is “with deep regret and sadness” they have to close the three businesses.
Cin Cin is located at Prospect St James, Primo’s is at the entrance to St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church and Hugo’s is located at Sand Street, Speightstown, St Peter.
Pooler said they worked diligently to reduce costs at the restaurants, and even as the principal owner invested “millions of dollars and none of the shareholders received any money from their investment”, there were some signs of recovery.
“However, what was not foreseen was the extent of reduction in the overall guest spend in the restaurants in the past 12 months, thereby significantly reducing revenues. These reductions were primarily as a result of factors outside of our control,” she explained.
“In Barbados, it is very easy for the general public to be comforted by the tourism statistics that are quoted. Unfortunately, the increase in arrivals from our airport and seaports has not reflected the revenue spent in our restaurants and our locations are heavily reliant on tourist spending.
“Increased Government taxes imposed on tourism related restaurants – 2.5 per cent increase in VAT and 2.5 per cent levy imposed in past two years, this is an additional 5 per cent on restaurant bills which based on the already high costs pushes the prices up for customers,” she added.
Pooler said the duty free tax concession given to restaurants associated with hotels, which they don’t enjoy, the increase in all-inclusive rooms leading to less days eating outside the hotel and the decline in the exchange rate of the British pound are also contributing factors.
She said Government needed to address some of these taxes on the sector to make it a more even playing field. (PR/SAT)