Catering sector recovering quickly, though costs continue to rise: ING
The Netherlands' catering industry is recovering from the coronavirus crisis at a breakneck speed and will likely run at pre-pandemic levels next year, ING said in a report. However, the bank is concerned about rising costs and prices, AD reports.
This year, Netherlands residents will "catch up" on all the dinners out, pub crawls, and outdoor parties they missed out on in the pandemic, ING expects. The sector also benefits from several major events in the country, like King's Day, the World Cup, the Formula 1 in Zandvoort, and the first three stages of the Spanish cycling race Vuelta.
"The outlook for the hospitality industry is brighter than in the past two years. Unlike last year, when the lockdown lasted until May, almost all restrictive measures were lifted at the end of February 2022, and everything was allowed to open again. For 2022, we, therefore, expect volume growth for the catering industry between 30 and 35 percent," said ING sector economist Katinka Jongkind. She expects the sector to reach 2019 levels again next year, with expected volume growth of around 10 percent.
The bank is concerned about rising costs. The catering sector is struggling with higher personnel and energy costs, and higher purchase prices for beer, coffee, bread, meat, oil, and butter, among other things. ING expects prices in the catering industry to increase by over 3 percent this year. "The question is to what extent the costs can be passed on to the customer, without scaring the customer away," Jongkind said, according to the newspaper.