Hessian Association of Cities and Frankfurt join forces in claim against state
(ffm) "I have lost about 2.8 million euros in sales due to Corona," says restaurateur Thomas Klüber, who runs the Walden restaurant in the city center, among others. The outdoor terrace of the restaurant in Kleiner Hirschgraben actually seats 150 people - but due to the five-square-meter rule, a maximum of 50 guests can now be served. The rule states that restaurants and Cafés can only have one guest per five square meters of space. It is unique nationwide and applies only in Hesse. If - as in other states - only the minimum distance of 1.5 meters between tables applied, Klüber would still have 100 seats available on his terrace.
"I see the great need of restaurateurs and call on the state to revise this rule in the short term. It is not about doing without distance rules, but we need an adoption of the national standards also for Hesse, which allow the landlords to work economically," says Mayor Peter Feldmann. A minimum distance of 1.5 meters between tables is the right measure, as in all other federal states. Feldmann had already visited the restaurant Margarete last week to get an idea of the effects of the five-square-meter rule. It quickly became clear to him what difficulties it would cause for the landlords. In the meantime, the Hessian Association of Cities, together with Frankfurt, is also calling for this rule to be adjusted.
Feldmann also spoke to Christian Dressler, who runs the Lohrberg-Schänke, and asked about the situation there. "Of course, we have advantages due to our large outdoor space that other restaurateurs don't have," Dressler said. Still, he says, he, too, has to give up about half of his outdoor seating. Indoors, he says, the Hessian regulation presents him with major problems: of the original 90 seats, only 15 seats can be offered here. "In bad weather, we will have to close or only offer a to-go sale," Dressler says.
So far, diners have been mostly receptive to the regulations and hygiene rules - including having to provide their contact information when visiting a restaurant or Cafés. "For the most part, the people of Frankfurt behave in a very exemplary manner and show great understanding for the requirements," says the Lord Mayor. Therefore, he will continue to work to normalize life in Frankfurt bit by bit. "A realistic distance rule in restaurants is part of this," Feldmann added.