Friday, 4 December 2020

Restaurants lose CZK 414 million every day, third of them is closed

By Irina Nikolaeva | Prague Daily Monitor |
20 November 2020

The gastronomy industry in the Czech Republic loses 414 million Czech crowns every day while being closed. By the end of the year, the result might reach 70 billion crowns, stated Jakub Špika, a commercial manager from research company Nielsen.

This spring restaurants, cafes, and hotels lost 28.2 billion Czech crowns in sales. An open regime that operated during the summer didn’t save the spring and autumn’s situation.

Last year's revenues of the industry were 195 billion crowns. This year, it could have reached 200 billion under normal circumstances. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the industry can only expect losses. The industry has already requested the prolongation of the Antivirus or COVID-19 rental program. A third of the restaurants are completely closed; thousands of people lost their jobs.

This November, the Prague City Hall created a new project called “The Lunches for Children”. Restaurants can provide food to children studying at home for 60 Czech crowns, and their parents for 90 Czech crowns per meal. Václav Stárek, the President of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic, remarked that selling through the takeaway windows or providing the schools with meals doesn't solve the situation. He added that the set price is lower than the daily expenses. The lunches at these prices should be subsidized by the government.

According to some experts, the interest in takeaway food might still grow, although it will never replace an actual visit to a restaurant. They are sure that after the restrictions are weakened, people will come back. Almost half of the respondents go to restaurants to meet friends – sort of a ritual.

Restaurants are not the main hub of the COVID-19 infection, added Stárek. The gastronomy sector still has the customers’ trust. However, business associations are still looking for ways to solve the situation and cover the expenses.