Friday, January 28

The Furset group is expecting new bar rules – reopening all its restaurants on Wednesday

The restaurant group sees no other option than to open the doors, despite the fact that they still do not know if the bar stop will be lifted. – Must be notified tomorrow, says the boss.

Lofoten Fiskerestaurant in Oslo is one of the Furset group’s restaurants. On Thursday, they open again, whether it is alcohol serving or not.

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– We reopen tomorrow, and hope we get to pour from Friday. But we miss the predictability. Would like to know by tomorrow if we can have alcohol serving, says CEO Gjøran Sæther in the Furset group.

He thus confirms that they are reopening all their restaurants even before the government comes with its new assessments of the infection measures. Today’s measures, including the controversial national bar stop, last until Friday 14 January.

It was Today’s business who first mentioned the Furset group’s reopening on Tuesday.

– It not only affects us, but also that the guests get a few days to book. If the government comes at 16-17 on Friday and says that they will reopen then, or on Saturday, then the weekend is over, and people have made other plans, he explains.

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Signals about opening

The reopening of the Furset group comes after signals from both Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre last week: Both have said they want to lift the liquor ban unless heavy professional advice dictates otherwise.

– Støre and Vedum have gone quite far in saying that it should be gone. There have also been no infection figures or anything fact-based that has emerged last week as to why they should stay closed, says Sæther.

He adds that the Furset group is “relatively certain” that alcohol serving will be allowed again after the government’s next press conference, but that they will open anyway.

– We have to open. We have taken the employees back from redundancy and they must be able to feel that they have a secure job to get to.

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Hoping for message Thursday

But if the government should still keep the bar stop, they will have to come up with something else to keep the restaurant industry alive, the Fursetgruppen boss believes.

– It will cost us dearly in the coming weeks. Then the government will have to cough up more in compensation. What has come now does not help, we are making big losses as the restrictions are now, he says.

At the same time, he hopes that the message comes earlier than Friday, anyway.

– They are good at letting people know when things are closing down, now they can be just as good at telling people that they are reopening, he says.

– Tomorrow they really have to have enough answers to say whether they open or not. It is very important to us, he says.

Fursetgruppen owns, among other things, Grand Café, Ekebergrestauranten and Lofoten Fiskerestaurant in Oslo.

The Grand and Ekeberg restaurant opened already last week, Sæther informs.

– It was well attended this weekend, but the turnover is very low as there is a difference between having a soda and sharing a bottle of wine.

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