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Restaurants Call For Support In The Face of Huge Losses

On Monday, the chairman of the Association of Independent Trade Unions, Bohumír Dufek, told CNN Prima News that there was no need to support all the restaurants and pubs, of which there are many. “Then let them go bankrupt. It’s just a cleansing process that works,” he added. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.

Czech Rep., Nov 12 (BD) – “I don’t understand why we should have 40,000 pubs. We may be surprised when this phase of the closed society is over that we find that we only need half the restaurants. Fortunately, the industry is still running and operating,” said Bohumír Dufek, leader of the second largest trade union organization in the country.

Luboš Kastner, a representative of restaurants from the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Traders (AMSP ČR), said that catering facilities need to be reopened quickly. According to Kastner, as quoted by Czech news website, the risk of spreading coronavirus can be practically eliminated by following hygiene measures. 

“The second round of restaurant closures means that more than half of them are in direct danger of bankruptcy, “said Tomáš Prouza, President of the Confederation of Trade and Tourism of the Czech Republic (SOCR ČR) and Vice President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce.

The decrease in revenues from public catering facilities from January to August 2020 amounted to CZK 40 billion, approximately 36%, even though this period included the holiday season, when there was increased custom from domestic tourists in some areas. The potential further decline in sales by the end of the year due to the current situation is estimated at CZK 20 billion. The total annual decline in sales could therefore reach at least CZK 60 billion, according to Klára Hájková from the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHR ČR).

Restaurants can still operate via takeaways and sell food through windows, but this is not an option for all restaurants, as not all meals can be prepared and served this way. Some facilities are completely closed.

Among the latest initiatives in support of the gastro business was a “Day of Takeaway Windows” on November 7th. This week, citizens are being encouraged to visit restaurants offering a “St. Martin’s menu”, that includes roast goose and St. Martin’s wine to take-away. “A third of restaurants are already closed and these numbers are growing dramatically. At present, thousands of people have lost their jobs in gastronomy, and there are more and more every day,” said Václav Stárek, President of AHR ČR, last Thursday.

Restaurant owners can now use a compensation bonus of CZK 500 per day, a contribution for rent or so called “kurzarbeit” programs which partly cover staff costs.

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