Switzerland | Corona

Fewer guests and significant drop in sales

"No access without certifcate", says the sign. Especially the holiday business has been severly hit by the pandemic this year, according to Gastrosuisse.
IMAGO / Geisser
"No access without certifcate", says the sign. Especially the holiday business has been severly hit by the pandemic this year, according to Gastrosuisse.

In the Swiss hospitality industry, sales in 2021 were around 40 percent lower than in the years before Corona. With the introduction of mandatory certification, the situation has only worsened for many. The industry urgently needs further financial compensation. The industry association GastroSuisse is therefore pleased that the Federal Council wants uniform national solutions as quickly as possible.

"The economic situation in the hospitality industry remains serious," says Casimir Platzer, president of GastroSuisse. Because of the ongoing Corona measures, almost 70 percent of hospitality businesses are now operating at a loss. The situation is also becoming increasingly difficult for employees. This was the result of a survey of almost 1900 members of the industry association, which was carried out in the first week of January. The situation has become much more acute since the introduction of mandatory certification in September 2021. And since proof of vaccination or convalescence is required, which was enacted in December, four out of five establishments have significantly fewer guests. "For many members, then, sales have also dropped significantly," Platzer says. Especially the holiday business went down the drain. Hospitality businesses made only 53 percent sales compared to a normal fiscal year.
Overall, sales in 2021 are about 40 percent lower than in the years before the pandemic. "That hit a lot of businesses hard," Platzer said. That's why the various support measures from the federal government, such as hardship payments, were indispensable. But these compensations were not intended to cover lost sales from the third quarter of 2021. A good half of the establishments found the compensations sufficient until June 2021, but as of July 2021, almost 80 percent claim to have been insufficiently compensated. GastroSuisse therefore welcomes the fact that the hardship program is to be ramped up again and that the federal government is now trying to compensate the affected industries as quickly as possible and in a uniform manner across the country. However, it is important that the uncovered costs are not only compensated this year, but also retroactively until September 2021. Implementation will also be crucial. "A practical solution is needed," Platzer says.
Gastrosuisse hopes that the Federal Council will not decide on any further tightening. Four out of five hospitality businesses assume that the introduction of an additional test for the vaccinated and recovered, for example, would have further significant effects and would be tantamount to an industry closure. In the event of a partial closure, many establishments see their very existence threatened.

The Federal Council's goal is to prevent hospitals from being overloaded. According to the Federal Council, the decisive factors here are those population groups that are neither vaccinated nor recovering. However, both groups are already not allowed to enter a restaurant, café or bar due to the 2G rule. "A lockdown in our industry would therefore have no effect at all," Platzer said.