Mohamed Abdel Fadl: “cafe owners lose up to 25% of their turnover because of mobile cafes”

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By Younes Saoury and Saïd Bouchrit on 10/16/2022 at 4:15 p.m.

They park on the outskirts of alleys and large boulevards to serve customers in a hurry and at an unbeatable price… Mobile cafés are everywhere in Casablanca, but their usefulness is not unanimous, especially not among café owners.

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While motorists crowd in front of the mobile cafes, the cafetiers, they cry out for “unfair competition”.

“These mobile cafes have neither an authorization to exercise nor a health authorization. They do not respect the basic rules of hygiene and above all they do not pay any tax”, deplores Mohamed Abel Fadl, secretary general of the Moroccan Federation of cafes and restaurants.

For him, the presence in large numbers of these mobile cafes in Moroccan cities reinforces “fiscal injustice. There are thousands of mobile cafes in the Kingdom. In Casablanca alone there are more than 1,000. These people occupy the public space without having to pay the tax for the exploitation of the public domain and bring nothing to the coffers of the municipalities or to those of the State ”, regrets the representative of the cafe owners.

He therefore calls on local officials and the administrative police to react to this “injustice” to “protect the health of citizens”, “persuade the owners of cafes operating in the formal sector to continue paying their taxes”, and also to “improve the business climate and restore investor confidence in the coffee sector”.

In addition to the feeling of “tax injustice” felt by the owners of cafes, they also want to preserve their turnover. The latter took a “hard blow” after the arrival on the ground of mobile cafes. “We have received several complaints from café owners who say they have lost between 15 and 25% of their turnover”, insists Mohamed Abel Fadl, before concluding: “several café owners have decided to close down because they are unable to make their trade profitable because of the presence, in the same place, of mobile cafés, and the soaring prices of raw materials”.

Cafe and restaurant owners are currently facing a decision by the Casablanca City Council to amend the 2018 tax decree in order to revise upwards several municipal taxes.

This decision, which is on the agenda for the Council meeting on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, relates to an increase, to 10% for cafes and restaurants located in zone A and 8% in zones B and C, of the tax on drinking establishments, as well as an upward revision of the tax on the use of public property.

According to a source at the Municipal Council of the metropolis, the discussion on this point would be postponed to a later session following a “good plea” from the representatives of the cafe owners.

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