Many catering companies will only last a few months if the restaurants and cafes remain closed and nothing changes from the measures taken by the government and landlords.
This is evident from a tour by the ANP of several catering entrepreneurs, most of which are in need of more clarity about the near future.
« 30 to 40 percent of The Hague’s catering companies will go bankrupt at the end of next month if it continues like this, » sighs Maarten Hinloopen, owner of seven establishments in The Hague, including the Grote Markt. Hinloopen, also chairman of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland Den Haag, is not satisfied with the current wage cost scheme. « In fact, it does not always reimburse 90 percent of wage costs. If you count surcharges and other things, you are talking about 70 percent. » Hinloopen also sees many problems with the rental costs. It is difficult to estimate how long he can last. He’s talking about a few months. « But if it is properly arranged, the companies can be in a kind of freezer position. »
Owner 21 bars
Riad Farhat, co-owner of 21 Amsterdam pubs, is also very concerned. Despite a gesture of rent payments from some property owners, for which Farhat is « bowing deeply », he also sees things going well for no more than a few months. « In two months, if the holiday pay is due, bankruptcies rain in the catering industry if it stays that way, « he predicts. Farhat is grateful for the wage cost scheme but indicates that it is not yet optimal. He says he is confident that the government will improve the scheme.
Hotel New York in Rotterdam (front building). | Photo: ANP / Sander Koning
Roel Dusseldorp, general manager of Hotel New York in Rotterdam, says that ‘his’ hotel has reached an agreement with the owner of the iconic building of the Holland America Line in which it is located. « We will certainly not fall over, » he says. « We will miss a lot of turnover that we would have otherwise made with the beautiful weather and the Song Festival. »
Confidence in survival
Hotelier Camille Oostwegel, owner of a number of luxury catering establishments in South Limburg, including the Maastricht Kruisherenhotel and Chateau Neercanne, is also not covered by the NOW scheme for his personnel costs. Although confident in the survival of the family business that is not associated with landlords, he calls on the government and unions to continue to help. « This cannot go on for long for any entrepreneur. »
On Wednesday afternoon, there was a call in the House for extra support measures for the catering industry, especially from the VVD. PVV leader Geert Wilders wants cafes and restaurants to open faster. « Better in three days than in three weeks. »