Barkeepers & Operators Association of T&T interim president Teron Mohan

The Barkeepers & Operators Association of Trinidad & Tobago (BOATT) confirmed yesterday that Teron Mohan is no longer its interim president. He has been replaced by vice president, Satesh Moonasar effective immediately.

Mohan said his resignation did not come out frustration.

“I’m a bit exhausted with the whole back and forth back and forth. Maybe somebody needs to adopt a different approach outside of mine,” he said.

He said the industry has lost millions of dollars. He argued that bars contribute in a very lucrative way to the T&T economy in terms of taxation every year.

“I personally have lost millions of dollars in revenue I’m accustomed to during my regular time throughout the year,” Mohan said.

Mohan said while overhead and staff costs vary from bar to bar, the average outlet would have to pay tens of thousands every month in fixed costs.

Asked to comment on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s recent sentiments and the probability of bars being reopened for Christmas, Mohan said that it is difficult to gauge. He said every two weeks bar owners wait in hope that no in-house facilitation will end but after every announcement, they are left confused.

He added: “We are left wondering, what does the future have in store for us?”

In the worst-case scenario that bars do not open until January or beyond, Mohan said there would be close to 1000 permanent closures. He added that every two weeks 20-50 bars close their doors.

“That impact now, you’re talking about 1000 bars versus average four to five employees within a bar, that’s 5000 unemployed persons,” he said, adding that he hopes “good sense prevails in the future” as the hospitality sector has taken a very hard hit.

Meanwhile, in the context of his resignation, Mohan said he had reached his capacity at the association and had done all that he could do during his time as interim president.

He expressed hope that the next leader of the BOATT would “do the right thing and that they are able to innovate and to present a very viable case going forward to get bars reopened.”

In a release, the BOATT thanked Mohan for his service than minutes after issued another release apologizing to the Prime Minister for statements Mohan made as the former interim president.

Mohan had described the $10 million allocated for bars by the government as “a slap in the face”.

BOATT said the statement was unprofessional and does not reflect or represent the views of its executive and members. The Association said that its executive has taken full responsibility for Mohan’s unfortunate statement and the matter has been dealt with accordingly.