Otto Mellouki looks back at business after lockdown easing
Acclaimed Kasbah in Bold Street is winning again
It’s been almost two months since lockdown eased allowing restaurants to re-open and for Otto Mellouki, co-owner of Kasbah, it’s been an emotional ride.
“We had very mixed emotions about the opening day. Part of us was so excited that we were getting back to trading and do what we do best. Another part was panicking about how people would react.
“Since then we were operating on a daily basis and trying every day to prosper in July. Things had been tough, revenue was down. The positive point was our regulars are very loyal. They are giving us confidence.
“What happened in August changed everything. I personally thought business would not improve overall until the whole hospitality and tourism sector fully opened. In our sector all parts of hospitality are linked, the airport needs to be open and running to 100% capacity, we need tourists that fill hotels, and we need the events back. And of course we need all the students back in September. Liverpool’s economy does rely massively on tourism and events.
“But since the government introduced the eat out to help out scheme, we’ve witnessed a huge boost. Combined with the city council and BID’s pedestrianisation of Bold Street, trade especially Monday to Wednesday is thriving.
“It’s a fantastic initiative, encouraged people to come out and also has given us a chance to welcome new customers that hopefully we can retain. We are so busy from Monday to Thursday, however the weekend is a bit quieter. I would love to see the initiative extended.
“It’s like a Saturday especially every Monday to Wednesday. We are the only country that is offering this scheme brilliant initiative that will definitely help kick start the hospitality economy and we are very grateful. We would love it to run for another month too.”