Belgian hospitality sector struggles, but survives first week

Belgian hospitality sector struggles, but survives first week
Credit: Belga

Operators in the hospitality sector are satisfied after a week of restarting operations, according to a survey by Horeca Vlaanderen, the sector’s Flemish federation.

Three out of four entrepreneurs in the horeca (hotel, restaurant, café) industry rated the first week of post-lockdown activities as “normal” or “very good.”

However, the federation warns of the financial difficulties in the horeca industry as the businesses are running at a reduced capacity due to social distancing measures.

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About 20% of businesses experience difficulty complying with the many measures required. Almost half (45.51%) think that wearing a mask is the most difficult adaptation.

For eight out of ten establishments, distancing measures are straining the capacity of the establishments, according to Horeca Vlaanderen. While for most, adapting their businesses to the new rules has cost them under €3,000, some restaurants have needed to invest over €10,000 in order the comply with the new measures.

These adaptations have an impact on turnover, while loss is partly offset by support measures including a lower level of value added tax (VAT). Nine out of ten horeca entrepreneurs have said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with these measures.

“We are delighted to see that this first week has gone so well, but it has once again become clear that there is still a long battle to be fought to get the horeca sector out of this crisis,” said Horeca Vlaanderen CEO Matthias De Caluwe.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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