New lockdown to cost catering sector €1 billion in lost turnover

New lockdown to cost catering sector €1 billion in lost turnover

This new lockdown is another massive blow for the catering industry, according to hospitality association KHN. “With this lockdown there will be an additional loss of turnover of more than 1 billion euros for the catering industry,” chairman Rober Willemsen said to AD. Employers’ organizations are calling for more support for the catering sector, and other hard-hit sectors like events and public transport.

“This closure is really the final blow for many catering entrepreneurs. I am therefore very concerned about the future catering landscape,” Willemsen said to AD. “We submitted a plan for smart measures to the cabinet, with which we could have avoided a catering shutdown, but it was of no avail. There is now a government road map, but it is still too generic. This can really be done smarter in consultation with industries, without it being at expense of public health.”

According to Willemsen, the government needs to come with 100 percent compensation for all wage costs and fixed costs, or this lockdown will be the end for a “whole lot” of entrepreneurs. “The piggy banks are empty. There are no or hardly any reserves left. The past 24 hours has definitely had an impact on entrepreneurs, especially mentally.”

Employers’ organizations VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland told NOS that they understand this new package of restrictions was “inevitable”, but it really needs to come with additional support for the sectors that are hit hard time and again.

“The cabinet must take measures to contain the virus, but it is a huge blow for entrepreneurs,” VNO-NCW chairman Ingrid Thijssen said to the broadcaster. It is therefore important “that there is extra support for sectors that are hit time and again, such as the catering industry, events, but also transport.”

The employers’ organizations argue for a new time-out scheme to allow entrepreneurs to temporarily put their business on pause, without incurring extra debts. “These are entrepreneurs who have a business that you know will open again,” Thijssen said. “It would of course be a real shame if they went bankrupt in the meantime. That’s why we say: make a scheme with which they can temporarily stop, a kind of time-out, so that they can open again when the virus is over.”

Such a scheme is to prevent entrepreneurs having to sell all their equipment, often at low prices, in the event of bankruptcy. Employees still lose their jobs in a time-out. Thijssen called it a complex puzzle. “A few things have to be done in bankruptcy schemes, creditors have to cooperate, but also [benefits agency] UWV and the tax authorities.”

Sports organization NOC*NSF is disappointed for all the sports teams that can’t play anymore. “The team sports are being hit hard, the competitions are out. I am very disappointed that it had to come this far,” general director Gerard Dielessen said to NOS.

Football association KNVB is worried about amateur football in particular, which is being halted for the second time this year. “With the matches, the fun of the football players is also put to a stop,” the association said in a statement. “How often can they continue to charge themselves to make sport an important part of their free time. Will this soon cost the clubs members?”

The association also worries that some of the approximately 400 thousand volunteers at the nearly 3 thousand amateur clubs will throw in the towel, and that the clubs will run into financial difficulties. “This causes us great concern. We too see the sharp increase in corona numbers and understand the need for measures. But we should not lose sight of the benefits that sports and amateur football offer. Not during the corona period and not afterwards either.”

Enforcers’ union BOA ACP is pleased with the new coronavirus measures. “The package of measures is clear and easy to explain, and can be sold to people on the street,” spokesperson Richard Gerrits said to ANP. With restaurants and pubs closing, there is also one less task on enforcers’ already full plates. “The catering industry is closing, now there is no longer any uncertainty about whether they are really cleaning up or whether there can still be one drink. We ask for clear rules, this is the clarity we expect.” He is also pleased that the government is working on making masks mandatory.