One of the leading operators in restaurant industry prepares for more layoffs in response to the new restrictions on restaurants.

NoHo Partners is one of the largest operators in the restaurant sector in Finland. Due to the impending restrictions on restaurants, which, among others, force some bars to close before midnight, NoHo Partners is to begin negotiations for job cuts that concern up to 1,300 workers. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today
NoHo Partners is one of the largest operators in the restaurant sector in Finland. Due to the impending restrictions on restaurants, which, among others, force some bars to close before midnight, NoHo Partners is to begin negotiations for job cuts that concern up to 1,300 workers. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

On Tuesday, the Finnish government announced new restrictions on opening hours of bars and restaurants, mandating that businesses must close by midnight at the latest, or even as early as 23:00 in places where the pandemic is in an “accelerated phase,” like the Helsinki region.

NoHo Partners Plc, a Finnish group specializing in restaurant services, which includes around 250 restaurants in Finland, Denmark and Norway, has responded to this by commencing new negotiations on layoffs in order to adapt its operations to the new restrictions and the projected fall in revenue.

The negotiations are scheduled for October 5, 2020, and are supposed to last for six weeks. As the group explained in a press release, the negotiations “may cause changes in the organizational structure, part-time or full-time temporary layoffs, changing full-time employment relationships to part-time ones or terminations.”

The group employs about 1,300 people in Finland, who may be affected by these negotiations, while the government restrictions on restaurant businesses also indirectly impact approximately 2,000 people working for the group as leased staff.

CEO of NoHo Partners Aku Vikström explained that “these government restrictions will have a considerable impact on our restaurant operations, and we are forced to begin immediate adjustment measures, which concern up to thousands of jobs.”

Vikström also asked the Finnish government to try and strike a “balance between protecting people’s health, the economy and jobs” when implementing restrictions to combat the pandemic. He pointed to Denmark and Norway, where the group also operates and where “restrictions on restaurants have been strict but, at the same time, the governments have continuously supported the restaurant business.”

NoHo Partners has already started cooperation negotiations concerning layoffs twice this year; on March 13, as governments braced for the first wave of the pandemic, and on May 15, when the group sought to extend those initial layoffs.