The ongoing health crisis is having a devastating impact on Europe’s restaurants, cafés and bars.
The threat that the embattled wider hospitality sector faces is existential as many businesses face permanent closure. The impact goes beyond revenue and jobs and into the character of our communities. Local spots and the culture they foster are woven into the social fabric of our neighbourhoods and the European way of life.
Owners are confronted with what seems to be a moving target. After last spring’s lockdowns, they invested in safety and hygiene concepts, only to revert to delivery and takeaway services, before closing down again. That has been the picture across Europe, with few exceptions.
With the prospect of a third wave, the sector is in urgent need of a consistent policy strategy that goes beyond closures and immediate financial relief.
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Claire Bury, Deputy Director General for Food sustainability, DG SANTE, European Commission
István Ujhelyi MEP, Vice-Chair TRAN Committee, European Parliament
Marie Audren, Director General, HOTREC
Éric Poirier, Member of the Board, METRO AG
Dave Keating, Journalist, EURACTIV (Moderator)
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