Nearly half of restaurants, cafes did not open Monday: ING

Cafe de Tropen in Amsterdam expanding its terrace into the courtyard of the Tropenmuseum in preparation for terraces reopening on 1 June 2020. Sign asks visitors to not move the tables which were organized with social distancing in mind. 29 May 2020
Cafe de Tropen in Amsterdam expanding its terrace into the courtyard of the Tropenmuseum in preparation for terraces reopening on 1 June 2020. Sign asks visitors to not move the tables which were organized with social distancing in mind. 29 May 2020NL TimesNL Times

Nearly half of the cafes and restaurants in the Netherlands kept their doors closed on Monday, despite coronavirus measures relaxing to the point they were allowed to open for the first time since mid-March, ING concluded based on an analysis of the number of card payments made at catering establishments, NOS reports.

"Because we are the largest consumer bank in the Netherlands, we can clearly see what is happening in the economy and also see which cafes and restaurants are open on a particular day," ING consumer economist Marten van Garderen said to the broadcaster.

Over the past months, the number of card payments plummeted due to the mandatory closure of catering businesses. By the end of March, only about a quarter of catering establishments were still receiving card payments. "This will mainly have been takeaways or cafes that sell coffee to go." On Monday, when restaurants, cafes and  bars were allowed to open again, the number of card payments skyrocketed. But not to its usual levels, according to ING.

There are many reasons why catering businesses decided to stay closed on Monday, Van Garderen said. There are restaurants that are never open on a Monday, for example. "In addition, there are businesses located in locations where there are hardly any customers. Think, for example, of restaurants on university campuses or restaurants at companies where the staff still work from home." There are also some restaurants for which it is not profitable to open with the restrictions currently still in place. "This applies to very large restaurants that do not have a terrace," Van Garderen said. Inside, catering businesses are only allowed to receive a maximum of 30 guests. In smaller restaurants or cafes, only a handful of customers can be brought in at a time under social distancing standards. 

Monday was a good day for the catering establishments that did open, ING added. The combination of the long closure, the public holiday, and the nice weather resulted in the card payments turnover of cafes and restaurants only being 5 to 10 percent lower than on Whit Monday in 2019. 

Tags: