Sales have dropped by 92% over recent months and owner Gunnar Karl Gíslason explains he had to rely on state aid to save employees’ jobs. The Icelandic hospitality industry has been extremely hard hit by the pandemic, on the first day of the government’s reduced rate of employment scheme, 22% of the 25,000 applicants were hospitality and catering employees.
Due to the difficult circumstances, Dill is currently only open on Saturday evenings, but Gunnar Karl hopes to gradually increase the number of services. “I’m going to see how things develop,” he explains. “It makes the most sense to start quietly.”
Before COVID-19, around 80% of Dill’s customers were foreign tourists, but locals have now reclaimed the restaurant. “Icelanders have taken over and fill the place on Saturday nights”, Gunnar Karl explains.
Gunnar Karl is optimistic that business will improve when Iceland re-opens to tourists from June 15th, but recognises that a long uphill struggle is ahead.
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