Two weeks following the shutdown of restaurants and cafes, which can now only operate through takeaway and delivery services, about 43 percent of businesses have remained in business since mid-September.
Data from the cash register system provider, Dotykačka, shows that while sales from operating restaurants fell by about a fifth to a quarter, the overall decline in sales in the industry is about 70 percent.
According to Dotykačka, food companies operating through dispensing windows have a promising chance in avoiding bankruptcy. These include restaurants, bistros, and cafes, which have managed to remain partially open.
But despite the government’s decision to temporarily close all restaurants, Director of Dotykačka, Petr Menclík, said: “The revenues of these companies are not that much lower than in the normal regime. But the composition of what people buy has changed.”
He added: “While under normal circumstances, around 60 percent of turnover is food and 25 to 30 percent is alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Food now accounts for 75 percent of sales and beverages account for only a tenth. This is logically reflected in the profit. The sellers have significantly higher margins on beverages.”
Since the recent closure of all social venues, companies have seen changes in their workload. Before the pandemic, restaurants were mostly busy around noon and in the evening. However, new reports suggest that customers now prefer to dine during the afternoon. According to Menclík, the sales curve is therefore significantly more balanced during the day.
With evening orders, Beer is sold slightly more with food, and sales of other drinks are minimal. Mencílek confirmed that restaurants offering take-out and delivery options are less impacted than bars and clubs. In fact, only five percent of clubs in the Czech Republic are partially opened for business.
Though the overall decline in the restaurant industry is caused mainly by the complete closure of more than half of the businesses, Menclík said that restaurants in operation must now weigh every expense.
Dotykačka is now offering restaurants and retailers a free order portal which can be found here.
More than 1,500 restaurants are registered on the portal, and over 2000 orders have been made through the online service in the past week.
Menclík said that the portal can also be used by businesses that use a cash register system from other companies. Dotykačka is also preparing to introduce online payment through the portal.