What will happen to Germany’s gastronomic diversity?
Over 70% of the population fear that the hospitality landscape in Germany will change permanently and negatively as a result of the corona crisis. This was the result of the Civey survey commissioned by METRO among 10,000 people over the age of 18. At 78.9%, this concern is particularly pronounced among the younger generation (18-29 years). Concerns are also slightly greater in rural areas (79.8-80.3%) compared to areas with a higher population density (75.4% in areas with a very high population density). Indeed, the economic losses caused by the closure of the hotels, cafes and restaurants in spring 2020 and the restrictions that came with the restart are hard to compensate. The renewed lockdown this November is major setback demanding an unprecedented show of strength by restaurateurs.
Even though affected companies are compensated financially through measures such as so-called "November aid", decisive sales factors such as the Christmas business are likely to be canceled this year - with or without lockdown. Restaurants - the small country inn, the cozy Italian place next door or the trendy Korean around the corner– they all fear for their economic existence. Will December be the light or are there further weeks or months of lockdown ahead for independent businesses? It is precisely the lack of clarity of how the sector can continue under the current pandemic conditions which is exhausting for the entrepreneurs.
The need for perspective
A clear majority of the survey participants would like politicians to provide a clear and timely perspective for the reopening of gastronomy (78.4%). A look at the individual federal states also shows that the desire for a perspective is not a phenomenon centered on individual regions. The trend in every federal state is over 70%, sometimes even over 80%, such as in Bavaria. The lowest wish for a perspective was expressed in Berlin with 74.3%. Only 12.3% of all participants on the national average think timely perspective is hardly or not at all important.
A roadmap for the gastronomy sector
How could the future of the industry look like under pandemic conditions? How can politics and gastronomy handle the health and safety challenges of the corona pandemic - and create reliability for guests? The clear endorsement (over 70.4%) for certified hygiene concepts could be an important part of a future roadmap. With 77.1%, in particular the age group 65+ supports the use of certified hygiene concepts. Only 16.4% of all respondents were unable to see any benefits in additional certification. The figures confirm that the pandemic requires not only extensive financial support but also other future-oriented solutions. It requires a fundamental rethinking to see gastronomy as a partner and to bring the sector forward. For Germany's inner cities, an open gastronomy, subject to hygiene requirements, would also offer a higher frequency, because over 42% would rather visit inner cities when cafes, restaurants and bars are open.
Germany misses going to restaurants
The current lockdown light also leaves its mark on the everyday life of citizens. After two weeks of the current closures, almost 50% of respondents miss eating out in restaurants quite a bit to a lot. Here, too, the younger part of the population misses a visit to a restaurant or café more than the average (57%). Restaurant visits are missed most in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Saxony (each> 50%). In Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania restaurant visits are missed the least. 14.9% of the total population says that they don't miss going out to restaurants at all.
What can we do to support the catering industry in these difficult times? Clearly: take away and delivery service. Sales generated this way support the restaurateur significantly at a time when no guests can dine onsite. They are an important alternative source of income to survive during this crisis. And here the survey still shows significant potential: 73.4% of the population say they do not order more often since the closure of gastronomy. Those who use take-away and delivery most are between the ages of 18 and 39. (36.2% and 34.6%). Students are most strongly represented with 43.2%. Supporters of the FDP (30.2%), the Greens (29.6%), the SPD (27.9%) and the CDU (26.5%) use delivery services and take away the most. But: On a national average, only 25.7% state that they are increasingly using take-away options.
The opinion research company Civey has questioned 10,000 people on behalf of METRO AG between November 11 and November 15, 2020. The results are representative for the German population. The statistical error of the overall results is 2.5%.
The whole survey is available for download as PDF-file. (only in German)