Korean restaurant association strives to overcome damages caused by COVID-19
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Korean restaurant association strives to overcome damages caused by COVID-19
  • By Vice Chairman Song Na-ra
  • 승인 2021.12.22 11:14
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Chairman Jeon Kang-sik leads the drive to help debt-ridden small restaurant owners

Chairman Jeon Kang-sik of the Korean restaurant association is making a dedicated effort, urging for innovative measures related to adjustment of business hours, bans on gatherings and limiting the number of customers to come up with joint measures to minimize damages to small restaurant business owners.

Chairman Jeon Kang-sik of the Korean restaurant association stages a single-man protest in front of the National Assembly building.
Chairman Jeon Kang-sik of the Korean restaurant association stages a single-man protest in front of the National Assembly building.

On July 14, in front of the National Assembly in Yeouido, a relay one-person protest was held urging to prepare measures for damage to small businesses.
The demonstration began at 11 a.m. by Chairman Jeon and continued until 4 p.m. with relays by the executives and staff of the Central Committee.

Chairman Jeon expressed the desperate feelings of 400,000 members who are on a “survival cliff” due to COVID- 19 and 2.4 million restaurant workers whose jobs are being threatened.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (left) and Jeon Kang-sik, chairman of the Korean restaurant association, take a commemorative photo.

 They urged the government to take proactive measures, such as easing the number of people banned from gatherings, easing restrictions on working hours, self-employment disaster subsidies.
On August 4, the Korean restaurant association and Korea Convenient Restaurant Association (KCRA), led by President Choi Seong-hoe, held a meeting to prepare a countermeasure against damage to small business owners.
The meeting was attended by Executive Vice Chairman Jeong Hae-gyun, Chairman Choi Seong-hoe of KCRA, and Secretary-General Kim Su-bok. They discussed about raising the minimum wage and preparing measures for damage to the self-employed.

Former Governor Won Hee-ryong of Jeju Island (left, center) and Jeon Kang-sik, chairman of the Korean restaurant association (right, center), hold a meeting to prepare measures to compensate for damages of restaurant owners due to the COVID-19 pandemic at  the chairman's office in Seoul on Aug. 12, 2021.

On August 6, a meeting was held with Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon at Seoul City Hall to overcome the damage in the restaurant industry, which is suffering from COVID-19.
At the meeting, △ preferential treatment for face-to-face service vaccines △ establishment of economic stimulus package applied by advanced countries (rental and labor support) △ realistic loss compensation system △ minimize damage to the restaurant industry and prepare food service industry promotion plan were discussed.
At this meeting, it was explained that the overall restaurant sales decreased by 20~25 percent on average from 2020. Participants also discussed such matters as the target of recovery funds, the scope of sales increase, the large increase in compensation for the loss of the restaurant business and preparation of employment safety measures.

Minister of Interior and Safety Jeon Hae-cheol (left) and Jeon Kang-sik, chairman of the Korean restaurant association, pose for the camera after holding a meeting at the Seoul Government Complex on the difficulties of the restaurant industry caused by COVID-19 on Sept. 10, 2021
Minister of Interior and Safety Jeon Hae-cheol (left) and Jeon Kang-sik, chairman of the Korean restaurant association, pose for the camera after holding a meeting at the Seoul Government Complex on the difficulties of the restaurant industry caused by COVID-19 on Sept. 10, 2021

Chairman Jeon also emphasized the seriousness of such issues as the lifting of the gathering ban and business hours restrictions and the need to support rentals for self-employed businesses in crisis.
Chairman said that restrictions such as business hours and gathering bans should be eased and abolished as soon as possible, saying that as social distancing has been maintained for more than a year due to COVID-19, many restaurant owners   closed their shops due to business losses.
Explaining that due to the prolonged COVID-19, sales of small and medium-sized businesses as well as large businesses decreased by an average of 25-50% compared to 2019 sales before the outbreak of COVID-19. He said that the promotion policy is urgent.
Chairman Jeon said, “The government’s selective support and compensation for losses for small business owners in restaurants and other businesses is a very important measure related to survival.”

The official launch of the COVID-19 Daily Life Recovery Support Committee was held at the Seoul Government Complex on Oct. 13. At the meeting, Jeon Kang-sik, chairman of the Korean Restaurant Association, was appointed as a member of the Autonomous Safety Subcommittee.

The COVID-19 Daily Recovery Support Committee was attended by 30 private members, including Chairman Jeon and eight senior government officials. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum and Chair Professor Choi Jae-cheon of Ewha Womans University were elected as co-chairs.
Prime Minister Kim, who presided over the meeting, said, “After a difficult time, we have now come to the stage of carefully preparing for daily recovery. We will get back to our daily lives gradually.” 

Chairman Jeon Kang-sik of the Korean Restaurant Association (second from left, center) meets with Minister Kwon Chil-seung of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups to deliver suggestions from the restaurant industry to overcome the damage caused by COVID-19 on Oct. 27, 2021.
Chairman Jeon Kang-sik of the Korean Restaurant Association (second from left, center) meets with Minister Kwon Chil-seung of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups to deliver suggestions from the restaurant industry to overcome the damage caused by COVID-19 on Oct. 27, 2021.

At the meeting, Chairman said, “For the past two years, the restaurant industry has actively cooperated with social distancing, but the pain caused by the decline in sales is great.
“The financial difficulties are so severe that they almost live on debt, and they are worried about the closure of the business.
“I hope that a normal business environment will be created as soon as possible to restore daily life.”
In addition, the associaiton plans to file a class loss compensation lawsuit against the government and conduct a signature campaign targeting 1 million people.

Chairman Jeon Kang-sik of the Korean Restaurant Association (third from right) holds a consultative meeting with Minister Kim Kang-lip of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and other guests on Nov. 3, 2021.
Chairman Jeon Kang-sik of the Korean Restaurant Association (third from right) holds a consultative meeting with Minister Kim Kang-lip of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and other guests on Nov. 3, 2021.

 


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