Hessian Association of Cities and Towns and Frankfurt join forces when it comes to claims against the state
(ffm) "I have lost sales of around 2.8 million euros as a result of Corona," says restaurateur Thomas Klüber, who runs the Walden restaurant in the city centre, among other things. The outdoor terrace of the restaurant in the Kleiner Hirschgraben actually seats 150 people - but the five-square-metre rule means that a maximum of 50 guests can now be served. The rule states that in restaurants and cafés only one guest is allowed on five square meters of space. It is unique in Germany and is only valid in Hessen. If - as in other federal states - only the minimum distance of 1.5 metres between the tables were to apply, Klüber would have 100 seats available on its terrace.
"I see the great distress of the restaurateurs and call upon the state to revise this rule at short notice. It is not a question of abandoning distance rules, but we need to adopt national standards for Hesse as well, which will allow landlords to operate economically," says Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann. A minimum distance of 1.5 meters between the tables is the right measure, as in all other federal states. Feldmann had already visited Restaurant Margarete last week to get an idea of the effects of the five-square-metre rule. He had quickly realised the difficulties she was putting the landlords in. In the meantime, the Hessian Association of Cities and Towns, together with Frankfurt, is also calling for this rule to be adapted.
Feldmann also spoke to Christian Dressler, who runs the Lohrberg-Schänke, and enquired about the situation there. "Our large outdoor area naturally gives us advantages that other restaurateurs don't have," said Dressler. Nevertheless, he too would have to do without about half of his outdoor seats. The Hessian regulations pose major problems for him in the indoor areas: of the original 90 seats, only 15 seats could be offered here. "If the weather is bad, we will have to close down or only offer a to-go sale," says Dressler.
Until now, most of the guests have shown themselves to be sympathetic to the regulations and hygiene rules - including the fact that they have to give their contact details when visiting a restaurant or cafés. "The people of Frankfurt are generally very exemplary in their behaviour and show great understanding for the regulations," says the Lord Mayor. Therefore he will continue to work towards normalizing life in Frankfurt bit by bit. "A realistic spacing rule in restaurants is part of this," Feldmann added.