1,100 Croatian hospitality and catering establishments have ceased to operate this season
September 4, 2021 – While it is true that many Croatian hospitality and catering establishments, such as cafes and other cafes, have finally performed well and managed to make decent money this season, until 1,100 of them were forced to stop working.
As Novac / Jozo Vrdoljak writes, after many Croatian hospitality and catering establishments were forced to close their doors on November 30 last year, a breath of fresh air came in the form of the news that from September 1, with special epidemiological measures, they were once again able to receive guests in the closed parts of their facilities.
The opening hours of bars and nightclubs remained until midnight, and the direct consequence of the closure of Croatian hospitality and catering establishments with great difficulties and a drop in traffic, is more evident through the number of 1,100 establishments permanently closed. It is assumed that these are mainly traders who have closed their facilities for fear of foreclosure on their properties.
The decision to open Croatian hospitality and catering establishments surprised many people, but it was certainly welcomed by their owners. However, measures and subsidies have been negotiated and reviewed in recent days, with many people expected to bid farewell to government aid.
Bars on the Adriatic coast worked the season with a 10 percent drop in traffic, and those on the mainland with a 23 percent drop. The amounts made during the season in restaurants up to two thirds fall on those of the Adriatic, while in bars this ratio is three quarters in favor of those of the Adriatic.
When you look at the drop in traffic from February to May, it was 38% for restaurants and 62% for bars. According to currently available data, there are around 35,000 Croatian hospitality and catering establishments across the country, of which around 55 percent are bars only. It is estimated that about 7,000 of these establishments do not have a terrace at all, so they would not be able to function.
Aid in the amount of 4000 kuna per employee is granted to owners of Croatian hospitality and catering establishments who have experienced a decrease in turnover of more than 60 percent, those who have suffered a decrease of 50 percent who received aid amounting to 3000 kuna, while those with a 40 percent decline in turnover received 2000 kuna. Having 70% of their employees vaccinated against COVID-19 was also a requirement.
Jelena Tabak, president of the National Catering Association, noted that the season will not make sense if the owners of Croatian hospitality and catering establishments are not allowed to work until the very end and without no restrictions.
“Even though they can work now, not all establishments will just open up and start operating normally right away. It is impossible to start working at full capacity after nine months of inactivity. On that note, it would be good if state subsidies remained in place in the hospitality sector as well, as our sector has been severely affected by the coronavirus crisis. In addition, people’s habits have changed and now a large number of people actively avoid being in confined spaces.
As such, there are still serious limitations to the functioning of Croatian hospitality and catering establishments. For example, four square meters per guest greatly limits the work of these places. Some of them, however, have still managed to do a good job this season, but there are a large number who have not, ” explained Jelena Tabak, who admitted that the general situation is even much better in Croatia than in other countries.
Tabak explained that the financial growth in income of Croatian hospitality and catering establishments is partly due to a significant increase in prices.
“It is true that some establishments have done very well this season, but cumulatively the hotel sector is recording a serious drop in turnover. The fact is that our confreres on the continent are in a very difficult situation, and now comes the period when even these on the Adriatic will have reduced incomes. What follows now is a period when we will not have a significant number of tourists, but we will still generate income from the Croatian guests.
The problem is also that Croatian hospitality and catering establishments cannot organize parties, so they cannot create an atmosphere that will attract guests. Hospitality is based on social interaction. A restaurant works well if it creates an atmosphere and attracts customers, and the owners have been deprived of that because of the measures, ”Tabak explained.
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