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Relying on Patios, Cold Weather Hurting Already Struggling Bars and Restaurants

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Bars and restaurants are experiencing drastically lower revenues without being able to bring customers inside.

According to Edenred CEO Nicolas Eich, the number of lunchtime transactions for restaurants is sitting at 39% of the revenue before the lockdown restrictions, and significantly worse than May 11 2020 when restaurant gardens opened up after the first lockdown.

Edenred, who provides benefit cards or “stravenky” commonly used by employers, says their figures show just how severe the hit to bars and gastronomy have been despite all their efforts.

“We’ve implemented extensive cashback programs and at the same time, we enable restaurants to directly communicate their offers to hundreds of thousands of users. We regret that this important sector of the economy is being largely neglected in any plans to revive the economy.”

“However, this is primarily due to the weather, which in May 2020 was significantly more favourable for the opening of gardens compared to the wind and rain from 17 2021.”

Praguers may have noticed restaurants trying to bend the definition of what is “outdoor” and “indoor” seating by opening up all the windows, getting rid of doors, and other creative tweaks to try and attract customers from the cold.

Tomáš Mráz, Sales Director of Plzeňský Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell), says not every restaurant has a patio or the ability to get creative with its layout. According to him, lockdowns have to end if the sector is to make any meaningful comeback.

“There are still many bars and restaurant owners who haven’t opened up, either because they don’t have a patio, or because merely partially opening doesn’t pay off. The entire gastronomy sector can thus only get back on its feet after customers can come inside. Gardens/patios are simply not enough.”

“There are hundreds of establishments that have closed or are about to close due to COVID-19. The pubs’ desire to continue is high. They are all betting on the summer season which would help them at least slightly erase their losses from the past year. But it is important that they remain open permanently, otherwise, there will be many more who end up closing.”

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