Gastronomy Revenues Drop Drastically Amid Waves of Closures

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The gastronomy industry has been struggling to survive for the past year enduring numerous government-mandated closures.

As a result, only 45 percent of the previously open gastronomy businesses still remain open and operating through a window.

According to recent data published by the Confederation of Trade and Tourism, restaurants have lost an estimated 72 billion crowns, down 37 percent from their pre-covid earnings. Before the pandemic ravaged the gastronomy industry in the Czech Republic would earn about 195 billion crowns each year.

Restaurants in the Zlín, Karlovy Vary, and Pilsen regions have been among the worst afflicted by closures earning only half of the reported sales before the pandemic.

While the Prague City Tourism board has actively promoted local tourism over the past year, the capital still remains at 66 percent of its earnings recorded before March 2020.

Insight into the industry’s revenue loss comes from Dotykačka, the point-of-sale system used in restaurants and retailers across the Czech Republic.

“It can certainly be said that there is a great dependence on tourism. Prague, even though most companies have remained open there, is moving in the middle of the field. On the contrary, places that were open during the summer, such as the South Bohemian Region, ended up practically the worst now,” said Director of Doykačka POS systems Petr Menclík in an interview with Seznam.cz

The first wave of closures began in March of last year when Menclík believes sales fell by 87 percent before businesses decided to open takeaway windows which helped sales climb back to about one-third of their original revenues.

A year later, the Czech Republic is now in its third wave of the pandemic and subsequently its third round of restaurant closures.

Within the current state of emergency lockdown, demand for takeaway services has remained steady over the past week. However, Menclík expects that even takeaway window sales will see a sharp decline in the coming weeks and owners may decide to close their doors entirely to wait out the lockdown.

The future of the Czech gastronomy industry continues to look bleak as the country recorded 10,466 new infections on Monday and 8,478 patients currently hospitalized.

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