Beach bistros want permission to stay open through the winter

The beach and pavilions in front of the Amrath Hotel Kurhaus in Scheveningen in 2012
The beach and pavilions in front of the Amrath Hotel Kurhaus in Scheveningen in 2012 RonaldWilfredDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

The owners of beach bistros in the Netherlands are still worried about their survival. In a distress signal sent to the government on Friday they called for more compensation and to be allowed to stay open through the winter, NOS reports.

Beach business owners sounded alarm bells about their troubles early in the coronavirus pandemic response. The companies are not only seasonal, but rely on the increased turnover generated from nice weather and holidays. These businesses were already largely unable to take advantage of perhaps the sunniest springtime weather ever recorded in the Netherlands. On top of that, the government's timeline for reopening society left the bistro operators unable to capitalize on Liberation Day, Ascension Day, Pentecost Sunday and Monday, and the extra days off customers might otherwise take off from their jobs in a more normal year.

"At the moment, beach bistros are running at less than 15 percent of their normal turnover," Andre Triep of the association for Scheveningen beach tent operators said to the broadcaster. He said there was still a great deal of uncertainty about the government compensation and financial schemes businesses he represents could access.

The costs of constructing and dismantling the businesses every year can reach as high as 150 thousand euros, Triep said. "After having survived for months no revenue or a fraction of the normal turnover, it is simply impossible to then bear the financial costs of dismantling and construction," he said to NOS.

"Something has to be done now, otherwise the Dutch coast will have hardly any beach pavilions in the summer of 2021."

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