PRO.VAR, the national restaurant association, fears that the absence of specific measures to support the sector will translate into "thousands of closures" and "tens of thousands of unemployed". The Christmas season, which is approaching, seems to bring "excellent expectations", as "many bookings are appearing" and customers "seem willing to pay a little more", but the concern is with 2023 and the increase in costs that are coming, namely with the rise of the minimum wage, according to Dinheiro Vivo.
Daniel Serra, president of the association, recognises that the restaurant sector comes from a summer in which turnover was "above average", however, he assures that, with the "enormous pressure" upstream, "entrepreneurs have never had to do so many accounts and even resort to technical help" to arrive at final consumer price values. The net results "are not what was expected" and the association fears that, given that, by its nature, it is a sector that receives cash, but payments are deferred, many entrepreneurs "only realise the financial hole at the end of the year ".
According to PRO.VAR, restaurants face increases of 50 to 100% in energy bills and 25 to 30% in raw materials. And with personnel costs "on the rise", as the lack of human resources is forcing "increasing salaries and giving other perks", such as more time off, to retain workers. Even so, "many restaurants today are unable to work at full capacity due to the lack of workers".
Daniel Serra is not surprised by the data advanced by Kantar, in a recent study, which shows that, with each visit to restaurants, families are spending an average of 15% more than in the first half of 2019.
"This increase exists, but it should be much more, in the order of 25 or 30%", ensuring that restaurants are "absorbing part of the costs", but that this puts them on the way to a "perfect storm”, since, with the end of the summer, there are fewer customers, especially foreigners.