Dozens of Israeli restaurants, including some of the country's leading and best known, will close their doors on the eve of the Eurovision Song Contest in May to protest new tax regulations. Each of the restaurants will hang a notice in their door, alongside the 'closed' sign with the headline 'They wanted the Eurovision Song Contest and they'll get contempt,' to explain their actions and apologize for the inconvenience to tourists and regular patrons.
Among the restaurants that will close are the Montefiore Hotel, the R2M chain, Coffee Bar, Brasserie, all Lachmanina branches, Da Da Da, Boca Cafe, Landwer Ra'anana, Alby Beersheva, and dozens more.
The protest is being organized by a new association of more than 1,000 restaurants called "Restaurants are Stronger Together.'
The protest is against the way that the government relates to restaurants and cafes and newly introduced regulations, which include new tougher laws on taxing tips and employing foreign workers. The restaurant owners are also angry at the government's indifference to their shortage of manpower and the government's plans to make it preferred employment for discharged soldiers - a solution that the restaurant owners do not believe will solve the problem.
The restaurant owners feel that Israel's culinary scene is one of the factors behind record numbers of tourists - a fact spoken of with pride when the government markets tourism to the country. The plan is to show tourists that despite Israel's proud culinary achievements, the government is making it difficult for them to survive financially.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 26, 2019
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