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The catering industry. Elongation up. Data from BIG InfoMonitor, commentary by Waldemar Rogowski

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Inflation stood in the way of improving the situation of the catering industry, according to the BIG InfoMonitor analysis. The total arrears of the catering industry amount to PLN 800 million, and they have increased by over 7 percent over the year. The key problem of the industry is the decrease in the number of customers.

According to BIG InfoMonitor, business is struggling with persistently high prices of food products, energy, fuel and labour. It was pointed out that in the first quarter, 2.1 thousand had already been deleted. catering enterprises, and 2.8 thousand were registered. “The growth rate of new catering businesses on the Polish market is declining” – added.

The industry is not helped by zero VAT on food

It is noted that currently 10,000 615 (active, suspended and closed) catering companies have unpaid invoices reported by creditors to the register of debtors or delayed by min. 30 days loan installments. “The total arrears amount to PLN 800 million, and they have increased by over 7% over the year, and this is another such change in recent years” – it was emphasized. As it was added, in March 2022 the arrears amounted to PLN 747.9 million. As stated, the industry is not helped by the current zero VAT on food, as it means that the tax paid by entrepreneurs cannot be deducted. The key problem is the decrease in the number of customers who, like businesses, are hit by price increases. “The higher cost of living translates into a reduction in Poles’ spending on pleasure, including frequenting restaurants and cafes. The study ‘Financial problems and debt of Poles’, carried out for the BIG InfoMonitor Register of Debtors, shows that three quarters of the population allows themselves such a luxury. of those who go to bars or restaurants or order meals at home, almost half now spend less on this purpose.

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A range of ready meals in stores

Referring to the report “How to Grow When Facing an Uncertain Future”, it was noted that 66.7 percent. of Polish restaurant owners indicated growth as the greatest threat to the survival of their business energy prices, however, it was noted that this problem was temporarily remedied by the freezing of energy prices for the SME sector introduced in November last year. 46.7 percent respondents – it was indicated – complain about the general increase in costs running a business, 36.7 percent as the greatest threat indicated the weakening consumer demand, and 26.6 percent. “increasing taxes”. – It is enough to mention that from March 2022 to March 2023 only food prices increased by almost 25 percent. The increase in the prices of basic ingredients, without which it is impossible to prepare any dish, turned out to be the highest on the entire list of goods and services. Meanwhile, gastronomy and hotels increased their prices by 16.9 percent. For some customers, it is too much to continue going to the restaurant as often, but for many catering companies it is not enough to survive – noted the chief analyst of BIG InfoMonitor, prof. Waldemar Rogowski. It was pointed out that the most arrears fall on restaurants and other permanent catering establishments, which constitute the largest part of the catering business. Overdue liabilities, after an increase of 5.5% during the year. in their case exceeded PLN 629 million. “Nearly 7,900 companies have problems, the average arrears are PLN 80,000” – it was indicated.

As reported, the largest increase in the value of unpaid liabilities between March 2022 and March 2023 was recorded by catering companies, whose debt after an increase of 25 percent. amounts to PLN 60.7 million. A significant increase in debts also affected mobile gastronomy, i.e. food trucks whose debts increased by 13.6 percent. and amount to PLN 38.6 million. In Rogowski’s opinion, an opportunity for Polish restaurateurs is the emergence of a new group of customers in the form of migrants from Ukrainewho are both potential employees and customers. – At the same time, however, the rapidly developing range of ready meals offered by stores is a growing competition for eating out. Thanks to ready meals, consumers save money, if not on going out to a restaurant, then at least on ordering meals at home. Unfortunately, this additionally affects entrepreneurs running a catering business – noted the main analyst of BIG InfoMonitor.

Read also: “It’s worse than during the pandemic.” Restaurants are closing because of inflation

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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