The catering industry hopes for a restart | Free press

No masks, no immunization cards, no attendance lists – in hotels and restaurants it could really go on and on. But it’s not that simple.

Berlin.

Going out for a drink again, going out to your favorite restaurant, going on a trip – for a few weeks now it has been the norm that many people have longed for for a long time. The hotel industry counts on many guests in the summer.

But anyone who leaves now feels that after two years of Corona, things have changed: the usual service is gone, the menu is stuck with higher prices – and many guests have less money to go out for fuel once, and weekly purchases have been paid.

“People are happy to go out again, travel and have fun again,” says the German Hotel and Restaurant Association. And at the same time: “The current challenges cannot be greater.” But after more than two years of Corona, the reboot definitely has to be a success.

Good booking situation

In any case, there are reasons for optimism. “There is a lot of catching up to do,” said Dehog’s CEO Guido Zöllick. In many regions, companies have reason to hope to hit 2019 sales levels. Hotel sales continued to rise in April, according to the Federal Statistical Office. However, it is still a long way from pre-crisis levels. However, restaurateurs are hopefully registering: guests are coming back, especially vacationers, especially domestic ones.

Less people

However, according to Dehogi, it is particularly bitter that often you cannot meet good demand because there are no employees. In 60 percent. companies are lacking staff. And the competition is fierce: many sectors are desperate for people and the Federal Employment Agency sees the demand for workers at record levels.

The hotel sector is particularly affected. From the counter to room service, thousands of people were looking for something new during the pandemic. “Devastating slumps in sales, months of reduced working hours and uncertainty – despite the best efforts it was not possible to keep employees everywhere,” complains the trade association. The number of employees is still 6 percent. lower than the pre-crisis level, the number of apprentices is 20 percent.

“Several companies have already taken advantage of forced rest days due to labor shortages,” Guido Zeitler, president of the food and drink union trade union said on Tuesday. The industry experiences a “stutter” after a pandemic.

According to Zeitler, wages have risen sharply in almost all areas of collective bargaining. The starting wage is almost 12 euros an hour almost everywhere. “It is important that guests are now understanding and willing to spend a little extra for a decent meal and good hospitality.”

Rising prices

Due to the effects of the war alone, 73 percent of hospitality companies have already raised their prices, according to a May survey by the Labor Market Research Institute. But customers also feel that everything is getting more expensive. Mainly energy and food. In May, the cost of living in Germany was down 7.9 percent. higher than the year before. It’s the highest inflation in decades, and wages are falling short.

Economic Research Institute Leibniz in Halle (IWH) said on Tuesday that the fact that the crown rules have been largely abolished could give the hospitality industry more momentum. At the same time, however, high inflation weakens private consumption. Like the German Industry Federation, the institute lowered its economic outlook.

For hoteliers and restaurateurs, the exciting question remains whether the policy is also beneficial to them, in addition to the customers. The association called for good precautions in the event of a pandemic in the fall, precautionary measures for a secure and affordable energy supply, more qualified foreign workers and a permanently reduced VAT rate. (dpa)

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