At least 20% of cafes, restaurants are still closed

Despite lockdown measures relaxing to such an extent that restaurants, cafes, bars and other catering establishments can completely open again, at least a fifth of these establishments are still closed, according to ING economists based on the number of debit card payments in catering establishments. This is mostly due to opening being unprofitable for them due to their location or size.

At the end of March, only about a quarter of catering establishments in the Netherlands were open - mainly takeaway and delivery restaurants. In early June, after lockdown measures started to ease, over half of catering establishments opened their doors. 

Now about 20 percent are still closed. "The costs of opening are higher than if they keep the doors closed. And nobody wants to suffer a significant loss," ING economist Marten van Garderen said to NOS. "Many catering businesses in inner cities are open again. But some are also located in schools and offices, where they depend on students and employees. Because many are working and studying from home, they are not there now."

Many establishments that don't have a terrace, clubs and bars are also still closed. According to Van Garderen, this is because they can accommodate so few customers wile adhering to social distancing measures that opening doesn't make sense. 

According to ING, the coronavirus measures and economic decline will result in turnover in the hospitality industry dropping by between 30 and 40 percent this year. Thanks to government support and cost cutting measures, the number of bankruptcies in the sector is currently still lower than in previous crises, the bank said. But added: "In view of the continuing restrictions on the sector and economic expectations, it is inevitable that many more companies will close their doors."

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