Michelin star restaurant stops sly scheme to skirt Covid rules
Joelia, a Michelin star restaurant in Rotterdam, has put an end to an arrangement it had with the adjacent hotel through which it was still able to serve guests, despite the lockdown closing all catering establishments to sit-in customers. Owner and chef Mario Ridder made this decision in consultation with the municipality of Rotterdam, he said on Friday, NU.nl reports.
One of the measures in the partial lockdown against the coronavirus is that catering establishments can only be open for takeaways. But an exception was made for hotels who still had to feed their guests. An arrangement between Joelia and the adjacent Hilton Hotel meant that people could pay 10 euros extra to be registered as a hotel guest and then go eat at Joelia, according to the newspaper.
In a press release on Friday, Ridder said that he never intended to "offend people" and that this was not a "sly trick", but the same dinner and overnight package the restaurant and hotel have been offering together for years. "We're not doing anything different now."
The arrangement nevertheless triggered a very negative media flow, and Ridder therefore decided to rather close the restaurant for everything but takeaways for the duration of the lockdown.