Second lockdown a blow to catering industry; turnover loss less severe: ING
The card transactions in the catering industry fell less severely in the first week of this partial lockdown than they did in the first week of the intelligent lockdown back in March. In the first lockdown, restaurants and bars generated 85 percent less bank cart turnover than usual. Now transactions were 65 percent lower - still a major blow, ING said on Wednesday, NOS reports.
"A hard blow remain a hard blow, even if it is a little less intense," ING economist Marten van Garderen said. "For the sector, this is still a drastic drop in turnover, which stays with you despite the smaller drop in turnover."
The lower drop in turnover has to do with catering entrepreneurs more quickly getting takeaways and delivery services going than in the first lockdown. "They learned from the previous closure and are adapting their business model more quickly," Van Garderen said. "Coffee shops and pizzerias that did not deliver at first, this time pick up the thread more easily."
Experience played a major role in this - the catering closure in March was the first time that ever happened in the Netherlands, Van Garderen said. "Then as an entrepreneur you did not easily arrange that you can have food delivered or collected, or you did not think it a good idea at all. Now those ideas can be taken directly from the stable again. And that is reflected in the turnover figures."
The image of Netherlands residents partying and dining out en masse just before the new lockdown, is confirmed by the ING figures. The day before the lockdown, more people went out to catering establishments, and spent more there too - on average 5 euros more than usual. "Call it the last beer effect," Van Garderen said. "If you know that you can't do things for a while later, then you bring that consumption forward."
Restaurants have been pushing to be allowed to open with measures against the coronavirus in place, with a group of catering entrepreneurs filing a lawsuit to that effect. The court in The Hague ruled against them on Tuesday.