Gastronomy: More than 15,000 restaurants at risk of bankruptcy

More than 15,000 restaurants, pubs, snack bars and cafés are currently at risk of insolvency in Germany.

Gastronomy: More than 15,000 restaurants at risk of bankruptcy

More than 15,000 restaurants, pubs, snack bars and cafés are currently at risk of insolvency in Germany. This emerges from an analysis by the information service provider Crif. This corresponds to 12.6 percent of the companies analyzed. In January 2020, before the corona pandemic, the number of catering companies at risk of insolvency was 10.7 percent, i.e. 12,662 companies.

Restaurateurs in Berlin are particularly suffering: According to Crif, 16.5 percent of the businesses here are at risk. In Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate, the risk of insolvency is lowest at 10.5 percent.

German gastronomy has still not recovered from the Corona crisis. In September of this year, the companies achieved price-adjusted sales that were 12.6 percent below the level of September 2019, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Thursday. Also compared to the same month last year, 0.2 percent was missing. Bars have been hit particularly hard: revenues from drinks served have fallen by 34.5 percent within four years. Restaurants, pubs and cafes recorded a gap of 8.1 percent.

Fewer staff during the pandemic

The falling sales are also accompanied by fewer employees. In September they were 4.0 percent higher than a year ago, but also 6.7 percent below the pre-crisis level of 2019.

In the fight for staff, which has become scarcer during the pandemic, companies can rarely point to good earning potential. Exactly half of the catering employees worked on low wages in October 2022. In the overall economy, the proportion of low-wage jobs with an hourly wage of 12.76 euros at the time was only 15.2 percent.

Due to various crises, there is currently a reduced VAT rate of seven percent for food in the catering industry - but only until the end of this year. From 2024 they will be taxed again at 19 percent in restaurants. This could lead to more bankruptcies in the catering industry, says Crif.

“In the coming year, bankruptcies in the catering industry will continue to rise,” says Frank Schlein, Managing Director of Crif Germany. For 2023, Crif is currently forecasting 1,600 bankruptcies in the catering industry, 36.5 percent more than in 2022.

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