No vacation trips, no pub evenings, no restaurant visits – the new rules for the containment of the corona virus are slowing down public life.
This is a particular problem for companies and employees in the catering industry. How can an industry that is so dependent on togetherness survive at the moment??
The only thing left for restaurants is the auber-haus business: on sunday, the federal and state governments decided that restaurants and cafes nationwide must remain closed all day long. Many businesses maintain part of their core business by having meals delivered to the customer’s home or picked up on order.
The consequences of the changes would be "devastating," warns the german hotel and restaurant association (dehoga). Existences are more than acutely endangered, jobs are at stake for hours. Politics must now help quickly, comprehensively and in a targeted manner.
The enterprises are thrown back on the pure auber house business, says also the dehoga boss rainer balke of lower saxony. "But of course this can’t be replaced in a coarse way."For many companies, it was already difficult to be ranked only 6th in the world.00 to 18.00 o’clock to be allowed to open.
That’s why, according to dehoga chief executive ingrid hartges, help must come quickly and unbureaucratically. "Even well-established companies say that they can hold out for maybe two months, but not longer," she told dpa. Most establishments had virtually no reserves.
On monday, the federal cabinet introduced a comprehensive package of laws to cushion the economic consequences of the crisis. So there should be direct grants for small companies. "Two-thirds of the establishments in our industry have fewer than 10 employees". There needs to be as little bureaucracy as possible," hartges said.
Even some hotels are catering to those who should have stayed at home during the crisis. "If it’s too crowded for you at home" – this was how a hotel in bavaria advertised over the weekend for people who have to work in a home office and can’t find the necessary peace or space at home. Elsewhere, hotels also offered rooms for home office work. Because hotels are only allowed to open for necessary overnight stays, no longer for tourism.
Dirk iserlohe, owner of the dorint hotel group, wrote an open letter to, among others, german chancellor angela merkel, which dpa has obtained. He warns that the current crisis for the hotel industry is not comparable to previous crises, such as the 11. September 2001, the sars epidemic of 2002/2003 or the financial crisis of 2008. Using his hotel group as an example, he calculates: "at that time, the negative impact on the hotel industry was a decline in occupancy of around 25 percent in relation to the relevant period in each case. Today, the negative impact is almost 100 percent of the planned sales volume."
In the letter, iserlohe criticizes federal and state aid measures as not extensive enough. Part of the latest aid package is a notice exclusion for commercial tenants. Landlords should no longer be allowed to give them notice if they can’t pay their rent because of the corona crisis. The mere "exclusion of notice will lead to a wave of insolvencies among hoteliers and restaurateurs", fears iserlohe. In his view, tenants and landlords should rather share the rent.
In a joint initiative, business associations and the real estate industry are campaigning for a fair balance in commercial rents. Tenants and landlords should be brought together to "talk about a temporary adjustment of the rental agreements," according to a joint appeal by the umbrella organizations involved, such as the german chamber of industry and commerce and the central real estate committee. The dialogue should lead to solutions for the long-term preservation of the rental situation.
According to iserlohe, insolvency law also needs to be relaxed even more than has now been decided by the cabinet. Because in his view, the crisis in the hotel industry is not over in the fall. "It will be a long time before people meet again, travel, attend trade fairs or plan tourist stays. 2020 can only be seen as a massive loss year for the tourism industry."
Bars and pubs have been closed longer than restaurants in some places. Even for them, the auber house business is the mabnahme of the hour, says nils wrage, editor-in-chief of the trade magazine "mixology. There is no longer any possibility to operate the bar as a room. That’s why some operators ship or bring home ready-mixed cocktails in bottles and totes to guests. "But that is only a small compensation business."In many cases, the income from this did not even cover the fixed costs.
In addition, there were legal restrictions: anyone who supplied food would have to comply with special food regulations. And those who take out business insurance are not allowed to generate any revenue.
For the bars, the rental and leasing costs are decisive for the fixed expenses. And they are high, especially in the metropolises: "especially the younger bars have the dewy high rents. The small, young businesses will now be hit very quickly." In the industry, many spoke of weeks rather than months before they had to declare insolvency.