March 25, 2023

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HoReCa could receive new help from the state. The industry is strongly affected by energy and gas prices

Also affected by the wave of price increases, the hospitality industry could receive new help from the state. According to a draft emergency ordinance, the authorities promise over half a million euros.

The money is also intended for the payment of energy and gas bills. On the other hand, restaurants have made their products more expensive, although the number of customers is decreasing. In addition, the menus are no longer as generous, and some chefs have given up on a number of dishes.

In a restaurant in Bucharest, customers can no longer find so many dishes. Due to the very high costs of the raw material, the menu was reduced by ten percent. Gone are some fish or pork specialties and dishes cooked on gas grills.

Ionuț Ceban, the restaurant manager: You can get rid of energy-consuming machines, but by renewing them, they also consume less. Or give up a certain type of machine – the electric one and have a machine based on coal – wood.

And the raw material is bought in larger quantities to get a better price. In addition, the schedule starts later and the lights are turned off during the day. The same happens in most restaurants in the country, but despite this, the managers complain that utility bills are 30 percent higher. In parallel, they made the products more expensive. Bills are up, on average, 10-20 percent over last year.

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Man: If last year we gave somewhere around 130-150, now it goes to 200, for two people.

girl: The prices have doubled and you don’t feel like going out to the terrace to eat a soup anymore, you prefer to make it at home, buy carrots, potatoes and make it, now for real.

At a restaurant in Brașov, the prices on the menu were increased in two installments of 10 percent each. Customers are fewer and fewer.

Aurel Stanciu, restaurant manager: At the moment we are almost bankrupt as a restaurant. Raw material costs went up by somewhere between 50-60 percent. The energy expenses are about 100 percent, if last year we had a bill of 7 thousand lei, this year it went to 14 thousand.

The Ministry of Tourism and Entrepreneurship has launched a draft emergency ordinance to support the sector. The aid scheme will cover part of the expenses, but also the electricity and gas bills.

Tudorita Lungu, State Secretary in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Tourism: We are talking about electricity expenses, which will be a maximum of 30 percent of the increase in energy costs. In the conditions where the budget will be lower than the one estimated by the industry, it will be pro-rated proportionally to the amount allocated from the budget.

10 thousand restaurants, terraces, guesthouses, hotels, travel agencies, but also event organizers will benefit from the second aid scheme from the state. An amount of 750 million euros is proposed, but the final decision remains with the Ministry of Finance. It is the second aid that the Horeca industry receives. Following the losses from the pandemic, the sector benefited from a first aid amounting to approximately 800 million euros

However, to have a strong economy, experts say that all affected industries should be supported.

Radu Ciobanu, professor of finance: All fields of activity should be supported, after all the economic growth of the country’s GDP does not come from Horeca alone, it comes from all industries. Let’s not forget that we are talking about transport, the food industry, agriculture, the construction area, but also the culture side – bookstores, theaters, cinema, all are affected by the increase in prices.

The aid scheme has been launched in public debate and is to be discussed in the government meeting as soon as possible.

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