Insecurity in Cuba forces restaurants to cut their home delivery hours

Insecurity in Cuba forces restaurants to cut their home delivery hours

There wasn’t a single table left at El Biky on Saturday night, and no one seemed to care about security at that normally busy corner of Infanta and San Lázaro in Havana. No one, less the staff of this well-known restaurant, who has decided to suspend home deliveries at night so as not to expose motorists to the more frequent attacks in the capital every day.

The explanation of one of the workers of the cooperative management restaurant left Vilma, a customer who called to place an order, speechless: “The motorcycle drivers have formed a crisis because of all this robbery problem, they are afraid to walk on the street. night”.

Vilma complained over the phone: “They told me it was until 7 pm, please bear in mind that only 20 minutes have passed since 7 and I just want a cake, can’t you ask someone from the motorcycles to hand it to me? ? ” The employee did not give his arm to twist and clarified that the new schedule had been in operation since the last days of the year “due to constant complaints from motorists.”

Despite being a weekend and one of the most central areas of the capital, in El Vedado and near the Malecón, the surroundings of the restaurant were deserted with passers-by and vehicles, a situation that instilled more fear in the messengers. “It seems that there was a curfew, there is a strange atmosphere,” added Vilma.

“For security reasons we have decided to reduce the hours in which our home delivery service will be enabled”

In recent days, and especially in late 2021, reports of robberies and assaults, mostly of motorcycle drivers, frightened not a few owners of this type of vehicle. The response from cafes and palates, which boosted their home delivery services during the harshest months of the pandemic, was to shorten delivery times.

This is the case of the private restaurant La Rosa Negra, located in the neighborhood of Nuevo Vedado and very popular for its moderate prices, which on December 29 reported on its Facebook wall: “For security reasons we have decided to reduce the hours in that our home delivery service will be enabled “.

The administrators of the place said they would interrupt their delivery service at 8:00 pm, but the next day they announced that it would finally be at 6:00 pm to coincide with the beginning of the hours of darkness in this winter season.

Messengers fear not only assaults to steal their motorcycles, which have become increasingly frequent on Cuban streets, but also attacks to steal merchandise or “cheating customers” who request a service to end up ambushing the employee and taking him away. everything you carry including the vehicle.

“You have to walk with four eyes on the street and the problem with riding a motorcycle is that one is the body itself, if they hit you with a stick or something else there is no way to protect yourself from the blow,” says Yantiel, a messenger who He works interchangeably for a private restaurant in Playa and for the popular Mandao service that offers a variety of products through its mobile application.

“You have to walk with four eyes on the street and the problem with riding a motorcycle is that one is the body itself, if they hit you with a stick or something else there is no way to protect yourself from the blow”

The cut in delivery hours has had a hard impact on the economic income of these stores. “Most of the orders arrive at the time closest to the evening meal and when we do not offer service at that time, much less is earned,” acknowledges the owner of a cafeteria that offers pizzas at home from Centro Habana and deliveries anywhere in the capital.

But even in the daytime the messengers take their precautions. “I don’t go into anyone’s home, I don’t go upstairs and I take this with me,” says a young man who distributes pre-prepared food with his electric motorcycle, while showing a hidden metal tube in the lower part of the motorcycle.

The authorities have not ruled on this increase in insecurity and recently the Ministry of the Interior said in a statement that these complaints on social networks, particularly those related to the theft of electric motorcycles, “are events that occurred in previous years or fake news. “

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