Initiative records growing membership - industry braces for tough times
For the third time in a row, Madjid Djamegari and James Ardinast have been confirmed in their roles as board members of Initiative Gastronomie Frankfurt e. V. (IGF) confirmed. Matthias Martinsohn and Goran Petreski also complete the board and remain auditors. This was decided unanimously by the members at the annual general meeting on Tuesday at the Gibson Club. They also took the opportunity to thank the leadership for the commitment they have shown. "We have felt a good deal safer and above all not so alone because of your support over the last few months," praised one member. The pandemic has also had a positive impact on membership numbers: More than 20 new establishments have joined the IGF, bringing the total to 100 member establishments.
With an eye on the autumn and winter season, Djamegari appealed to restaurateurs* to continue claiming the outdoor use permit extended by the City of Frankfurt until the end of April 2021. And, "We need to show patrons that visiting and private parties at our restaurants are still safe and a better alternative because we provide the highest level of safety and sanitation."
It has not been and will not be an easy year for the Frankfurt restaurant industry, according to IGF board members at their annual meeting this year at the Gibson Club, which has closed since the lockdown. Nevertheless: "The summer helped to boost business again, now we need solutions for autumn and winter", says James Ardinast. The first approaches are already in place: "Use your patios and outdoor spaces, think about how you can remodel your indoor spaces to be Corona compliant." Investing in ventilation, Plexiglas partitions or virus filters, he says, are confidence-building measures that will pay off in the long run.
Cohesion remains strong in the IGF - and certainly one of the reasons membership numbers have risen in recent months: The initiative has gained more than 20 new businesses due to the Corona pandemic. "Especially during the lockdown, many farms found their way to us in the community. The increase illustrates how important our work is and, above all, what steel it has to the outside world," says Matthias Martinsohn. The actions that have caused a stir throughout Germany, such as "Empty Chairs" at the Frankfurt Römer and the action by emergency motion against the Hessian "five square metre rule", have also contributed to this. The "Gastro Trend Awards" and the "Frankfurt Cultural Summer Gardens" events, which were organised jointly with the City of Frankfurt am Main, were and are also great successes. "The actions were an important signal for the industry and for our guests", says Goran Petreski.
That the IGF members are satisfied with the work of the board, they made more than clear at the election: unanimously they confirmed Madjid Djamegari, James Ardinast, Matthias Martinsohn and Goran Petreski in their positions. "We really enjoy our work and our goal is to continue to be involved in the development of the city as a point of contact for politicians and other associations and to convey a unified image of the industry to the outside world," Djamegari said.
The board called on its members to continue to stick together. "The next few months are going to be challenging," Djamegari said. Not only because rising case numbers and the end of the summer season were imminent, but also because fewer tourists and business people were expected in Frankfurt due to the elimination of the attendance fairs by the end of March 2021 and the reduction of the Christmas market. "That's why we have to go even more into communication with our guests and prove that restaurant visits and private celebrations are harmless here." He added that it is important to always observe the applicable Corona regulations in order to protect employees as well as guests: Wearing mouth and nose coverings are just as much a part of that as keeping your distance and making sure you have enough sanitizers. "