Le Pain Quotidien has decided to temporarily close 13 bakeries due to the coronavirus crisis, the chain announced on Wednesday.
“With closed restaurants and too little support, this is not sustainable,” said CEO Annick Van Overstraeten.
Belgium’s aid only amounts to 1.5% of fixed costs, Van Overstraeten said, a far cry from countries like France and the UK, where over 30% of costs are covered.
“Le Pain Quotidien is very disappointed with the announcements made at the end of last Friday’s Consultative Committee,” she added. “The government’s message about a possible reopening on 1 May is too vague and is fraught with reservations and conditions.”
The chain therefore says it is forced to temporarily close half of its bakeries in Belgium, including two in Brussels – those at Tour & Taxis and in the Royal galleries, according to La Dernière Heure -, three in Antwerp and the establishments in Liège, Waterloo and Wavre.
These bakeries will reopen at the same time as the restaurants, when customers will be able to consume both indoors and outdoors.