Coronavirus catering: possible scenarios

In the past week, the coronavirus got a grip on the Netherlands and the major economic consequences came to light. More than any other sector, the hospitality industry is being hit hard.
Jurriaan Schrofer

15 March, 2020

Source: KHN, March 13

Unfortunately, the situation continues to deteriorate and there is a high risk of further economic damage. New victims of the virus are reported every day and the government is considering taking new, more drastic measures. Tomorrow (Monday 15 March) the House of Representatives will meet for an emergency consultation on the virus. The government will probably then decide to switch to other measures – and will the hospitality industry n ó g suffer more from the economic malaise. What are the possible scenarios ’ s, including the consequences and solutions?

The coronavirus is expected to spread further in the coming weeks and there will be more consequences for the catering industry. In this article we explain what the coronavirus means for your catering business and how you can prevent the problems.

Scenario #1: more of the same

The main question during Monday's press conference is whether the government decides to force all Dutch catering businesses to close – like our southern neighbors in Belgium ë already did a few days ago. If the government does not (yet) decide to close the catering industry, we are talking about the first scenario. Although in this scenario it is likely that new measures are still in place – for example, that people are discouraged from visiting public spaces, which will further reduce the number of guests – most catering businesses can continue to operate in this case. The first interest of catering businesses is then to limit the reduction in turnover as much as possible.

Tip #1

Request a reduction in working hours. If you get a permit for a reduction in working hours, you can have your permanent staff work less and you no longer have to pay for hours not worked. These are then paid out by the government. Since personnel costs in the hospitality industry are always é é If you have been one of the highest cost items, you can save a lot of costs with this arrangement. For more information about the short-time working and how you can apply for it, it is best to visit the website of the   Government .

Tip #2

Think about alternative methods of increasing your sales. For example, deliver meals to your home. The number of reservations is declining because people are increasingly afraid of public spaces and possible contamination. Fortunately, this does not mean that people still want to eat well. If you have a restaurant that normally doesn't do home deliveries, it's a good idea to make an exception in this state of emergency. Even if you fear that your business will have to close soon, or if you have decided to close your business as a preventive measure, this is a good way to avoid having to throw away your fresh products. In addition, home delivery can help you to recoup your losses to some extent.

Scenario #2: a mandatory closure of catering establishments

Last week, the Belgian government decided to force all catering establishments to close. If the Netherlands decides to follow the example of our southern neighbours, you are obliged to exclude your guests and the economic consequences will be even more painful. The government has not yet taken any measures to financially compensate catering businesses for their loss. However, with a mandatory closure it will be impossible for the catering industry to recoup their losses – and many businesses are in danger of going bankrupt. Hopefully, the government will finally decide to intervene and protect the catering sector. But the example of Belgium ë is not reassuring on this point. Hilde Crevits, Flemish economy minister, announced Friday to compensate catering businesses. The problem? Catering entrepreneurs become é é Compensated once with € 4,000 and if they still have to stay closed after 21 days with an extra € 160 a day. In principle, any form of support is of course welcome, but there are few things that can cover their losses with this amount. In addition, the scheme is exactly the same for every catering business, regardless of whether you have 2 or 60 employees.

Tip #1

As with the first scenario, we strongly recommend that you request a reduction in working hours and thus your   compensation for wage costs . Also, if allowed by the measures, it is still a good idea to switch to home delivery.

Tip #2

Call on the government. If the government obliges all catering establishments to close, you will probably receive compensation for this. Unfortunately, it is just as likely that the compensation will not be enough to cover your costs –   or in the worst cases to prevent bankruptcy. That is why it is important to make your interests known to The Hague. At the moment, a petition is being prepared by catering entrepreneurs.   Here you can follow the developments of the petition , or contribute your own ideas about the most important spearheads.

Scenario #3: An advanced quarantine

As in the other situations, the importance of short-time working cannot be overemphasized. Request this as soon as possible, because the lost costs are not covered retroactively. Every day that you have not yet applied for the working time reduction can therefore cost you a lot of money.

Tip #1

As in the other situations, the importance of short-time work cannot be overemphasized. Request this as soon as possible, because the lost costs are not covered retroactively. Every day that you have not yet applied for the working time reduction can therefore cost you a lot of money.

Tip #2

Be careful when purchasing fresh products. If the government decides to move to an advanced quarantine it is difficult, if not impossible, to do anything with your fresh ingredients ë nts. So keep in mind when purchasing in the coming weeks that you may have to count these as losses.

More Tips

If you're looking for more tips, or have a tip of your own, you can join the   Horeca Takes Action   visits. There you will also be kept informed of the latest news. In addition, you can read   here our article   about the consequences of the coronavirus for the catering industry, with a number of frequently asked questions and answers.

How can I stay informed?

You can ask us questions by emailing . You can also stay up to date with the   information from RIVM , government press conferences and groups on Facebook , for example Horeca Takes Action.

About us

Eitje is a planning tool for the hospitality industry, which saves you time and makes it easier for you to perform your work. You use our all-in-one planning tool to create rosters, register hours, train employees online and keep your staff well informed about the developments in your business. But that's only the beginning, because all our functions help you to manage your catering business better and easier.