'Catering industry lost almost a quarter of its revenue'
Tatarstan restaurateurs and hoteliers summed up the results of the most difficult year for the industry
The new president of the Association of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers has been elected in Kazan, it is the chairman of the board of the organization, Zufar Gayazov. The vote was held at the reporting meeting of the association, where the leading participants of the catering and hotel market discussed last year's results and new challenges. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
The end-of-year board meeting of the association was attended by over 100 restaurateurs and hoteliers, as well as business ombudsman Farid Abdulganiev, chairperson of the Tatarstan State Committee on Tourism Sergey Ivanov, deputy head of the ministry of industry and trade of Tatarstan Aleksey Savelchev, head of the committee for tourism development of Kazan Daria Sannikova, and many others.
At the meeting, the new president of the Association of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Kazan and Tatarstan was elected — Zufar Gayazov, who previously held the position of the organisation's chairperson, and his position passed to Mikhail Sharipov, the owner of the Skazka cafe. The former head of the association, Renat Zalyutdinov, died at the end of January from complications due to COVID-19.
Significant drop in revenue
The turnover of public catering in Russia in the severe pandemic year amounted to 1,35 trillion rubles, which is by 20,7 billion less than in 2019. The most dramatic was the second quarter of the year, when the country announced a lockdown. The drop relative to the same period in 2019 was almost 50%. Therefore, the most disastrous months were April, May, and June.
Full-service restaurants suffered the most from Covid-19 restrictions, with revenue falling by 56,3%. The segment of canteens and self-service cafes sank by 51,2%. Coffee shops' revenue decreased by 35,6%, street food's — by 37,3%. The fast food segment felt best, as big players have been using delivery for a long time. And their offers were the most attractive for Russians, said Zufar Gayazov.
Farid Abdulganiev thanked the hoteliers and restaurateurs for their work in the difficult time. He noted that not all the problems have been solved so far, over the past year there was a drop in GRP by 3%: “One tenth of the gross product is a lot. And 3% is very noticeable. Some industries have been hit much harder. Restaurants, hotels, hostels found themselves on the front line.”
“The quality of visits to Tatarstan has not been affected”
Despite the coronacrisis, there were some positive moments in 2020. For example, the international forum Business Partners of Tatarstan was held, a book on everyday life, traditions and national cuisine was published in several languages at once. This happened on the eve of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of TASSR. In the summer, summer verandas were built and worked that at least a little facilitated the fate of businessmen from the sphere of public catering. On New Year's Eve, restaurants and cafes in Tatarstan were open until 3 am, unlike in other regions of Russia.
According to the business ombudsman, employees of the industry and local authorities were faced with the task of bringing the proposals of entrepreneurs to the leadership of Rospotrebnadzor. It was necessary to understand how to work during the pandemic. Summing up the interim results, we can say that the proposed solutions were correct, he said.
The head of the State Committee for Tourism said that, despite the difficult working conditions, there were no serious complaints about the organisation of food from tourists: “No one complained that there was no place to eat when they arrived in Kazan, everything was closed. The quality of tourism to Tatarstan has not been affected.”
In 2021, Kazan has officially become the gastronomic capital. Daria Sannikova explained why our city received this status and what should be done to avoid losing it:
“There are more than 2,000 public catering enterprises in Kazan, they are all different. There are restaurants, fast food outlets, cafes. And each of them presents its own special dishes of different cuisines of the peoples who live in Kazan. There are more than 150 ethnicities in our city. The new title helped set a new bar for us. Now the responsibility to the guests has increased. This is a high-quality marketing move that will attract tourists to the republic even more. New master classes will be held to improve the skills of chefs and waiters. We will organise new food festivals.”
“We are losing both numbers and people”
The Commissioner for the Rights of Entrepreneurs highly appreciated the work of the association: “In its purest form, I perceive the restaurant as a place for communication, coworking. During the pandemic, we realised that the world would change. One needs to be able to rebuild their business faster. The entrepreneur is mobile and can make quick decisions. The association works well as a tool that correctly summarises information and brings it to us.”
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Tatarstan Aleksey Savelchev outlined another important task: “The catering industry lost almost a quarter of its revenue. We are losing both numbers and people. The loss of the association is an irreparable loss. This year, we must restore the indicators. This is not done by a computer, but by people. The more people who visit and work in your institutions, the faster the economy will recover. I want people to constantly learn and the title of “gastronomic capital' is confirmed”.
The republic will create its own school of restaurateurs, the association reported. There will be presented the areas of Service, Marketing, Cooking and others. Upon graduation, graduates will get diplomas. The license has already been obtained.
In 2021, the association faces the following tasks:: remove restrictions on the working hours of cafes and restaurants, resolve lending issues, and continue cooperation with the State Committee for Tourism and the ministry of industry and trade of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Sergey Ivanov drew attention to that in Sviyazhsk and Bolgar the issues of catering are still relevant. The restaurateurs agreed to consider options and send food trucks and coffee trucks to these cities.