Restau­rants not so happy

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

How­ever odd it may seem; restau­rant and café own­ers are not so en­thu­si­as­tic with the ex­pected turnout of their clien­tele dur­ing the World Cup.

Phanos Leven­tis, the Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of en­ter­tain­ment and leisure estab­lish­ments (PASIKA), said that “pubs and some sports bars may see some in­crease in their clien­tele dur­ing this one month. How­ever, most cafes and restau­rants are not ex­pected to see a tan­gi­ble in­crease in rev­enue.

“Even those set to see their busi­ness in­crease dur­ing the World Cup, will do so af­ter hav­ing in­vested se­ri­ously in equip­ment such as the lat­est tele­vi­sion sets with the best def­i­ni­tion avail­able and sound sys­tems”, said Leven­tis.

He said peo­ple will pre­fer to go to a bar on the coast to watch a game due to the warm weather.

“If they do de­cide to watch a game late in the evening, they will pre­fer to do so in one of the bars near the sea.”

Echo­ing the same con­cerns, Yian­nis Tsout­soukis, owner and di­rec­tor of Di Mario Lounge Café in Ni­cosia, said he does not ex­pect a sig­nif­i­cant rise in busi­ness dur­ing the World Cup as the event will be broad­cast on free-to-air state TV.

He said that peo­ple would rather gather at a friend’s house and watch the games.

Tsout­soukis com­pared the World Cup pull to the Europa League, which is also free-to-watch on CyBC, as op­posed to pop­u­lar Cham­pi­ons League games which are on pay-TV only.

“Dur­ing a Cham­pi­ons League game, we may have a full house, while for Europa League games we barely have more cus­tomers than we would have had if it had been a day with­out a match,” said Tsout­soukis.

The cafe owner said screen­ing foot­ball only ac­ces­si­ble on sub­scrip­tion channels is a costly busi­ness.

“In or­der to be able to screen all the games that would in­ter­est Cypriot fans, that is the lo­cal cham­pi­onship and the Cham­pi­ons League, we spend EUR 600 monthly on sub­scrip­tions,” said Tsout­soukis, voic­ing con­cerns of the whole sec­tor.

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