The hospitality industry is suffering from declining revenues due to the fear of a „price shock.“

Salatteller im Restaurant (Archiv)

Salatteller im Restaurant (Archiv)

Foto: Jens Kalaene / dpa

The German hospitality industry is struggling with high inflation and weak economic conditions. In the vacation month of July, revenues increased by 2.7 percent compared to the previous year, but this is solely due to significantly higher prices. When inflation is factored out, there is actually a real loss of 4.1 percent compared to July 2022, according to studies conducted by the Federal Statistical Office.

Für Restaurants, Hotels und Co. fiel der Start in die zweite Jahreshälfte damit äußerst schwach aus. Im Vergleich zum Juni sanken die Umsätze sowohl nominal als auch real um 1,5 Prozent. Noch deutlicher wird das Minus bei einem Vergleich mit dem Juli 2019 – also vor Ausbruch der Coronapandemie. Damals waren die Umsätze preisbereinigt noch um 9,8 Prozent höher.

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The businesses are now even more concerned about the end of the tax breaks, which is expected to come in early 2024. „The fears of survival in the industry are still very high,“ said Guido Zöllick, President of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga). „Nearly half of our companies, 45.5 percent, expect business to be worse in the next three months than it has been so far.“ Due to declining number of guests and higher costs, 28 percent feared making losses in the current year.

Preiserhöhungen durch höhere Mehrwertsteuer

Aufgrund massiv gestiegener Kosten appellierte Zöllick erneut an die Politik, die auf sieben Prozent gesenkte Mehrwertsteuer dürfe 2024 nicht wieder auf 19 Prozent erhöht werden. »Das führt zu einem Preisschock für die Gäste.«

The industry association is calling for the permanently low value-added tax on food in the gastronomy sector, which was reduced during the Corona and energy crisis, to be maintained. After multiple extensions, the tax rate is set to increase from seven to the original 19 percent in January 2024. However, these and other costs would have to be fully passed on to the guests by the establishments, „as restaurateurs have no more room for maneuver or reserves,“ warned Zöllick. According to a Dehoga survey, over 90 percent of companies would then increase their prices.