It is enough if they let us work!

By: Trademagazin editor Date: 2024. 03. 14. 11:47

As at the beginning of every year, we have asked László Kovács, president of the Guild of Hungarian Restaurateurs (MVI), to evaluate the past year and the opportunities this year may bring

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2024/2-3

Kovács László MVI

László Kovács
Guild of Hungarian Restaurateurs

“In 2024 bar and restaurant owners still can’t be sure what the price of energy and raw materials will be, how long customers will tolerate price hikes, whether there will be enough staff, and whether they will make a profit at the end of the season! While Hungarian guests kept the sector going during the pandemic-induced crisis, after the recovery of tourism it was the returning foreign tourists who dominated, so demand shifted back to Budapest and Lake Balaton. There were 4,000 restaurant closures between 2019 and the end of 2022. It may be surprising that in the first half of 2023 1,000 places closed. In 2023 the workforce situation more or less consolidated: we witnessed a return of workers who had previously left the hospitality industry for other sectors, and foreign workers also appeared in hospitality. Hungarian guests see their purchasing power drop – presumably because of the inflation. Regular guests have reduced the frequency of their visits, and the number of guests has also fallen sharply. Hospitality is viable if they let us work! The low VAT rate on the service is obviously a support, but I think it isn’t fair that in fine dining restaurants the VAT is 5%, but in children’s and workplace catering the VAT is 27%. I am optimistic about 2024: if no economic recession or pandemic hits us, I believe the hospitality sector will stand on its own feet and even grow”. //

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