2022 Tatarstan catering industry: losses, fear of inspections and sector’s delayed recovery
“When they see people in uniform, they are a bit scared”
The hospitality sector will recover by late 2022, but only if there aren’t additional waves of coronavirus, representatives of the Association of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Kazan and Tatarstan said on 2 February. While the association registers that about 30% of establishments in the republic closed.
“They were mainly players or gastronomic enthusiastic who just entered the market and didn’t understand the rules of game, or the enterprises whose financial model didn’t allow saving their stability,” said Executive Director of the association Galina Sharafutdinova.
Inspections over the compliance with coronavirus restrictions in general don’t influence the closure or a fall in revenue, she noted. Bars if inspections are often carried out there are an exception.
“The inspections don’t influence the businessperson because they have always been done by different agencies,” founder of Chalbar and Bazzar bars, Pokeshnaya Donat Mukhametshin agreed. “The representatives who are much older than me and have been in the business for long know that there have been tougher years from a perspective of inspections.”
However, they do influence the staff’s mental health, he noted:
“When an inspection arrived in the establishment, now we have quite young staff who anyway lived in quite an interesting, funny situation after 2015. In other words, it is people who in general thought it would always be good. And now when they see people in uniform, they are scared a bit.”
“At the moment we are at the same point we were a year ago”
Talking about anti-vaxxers, Donat Mukhametshin claimed that it is an old story that had nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is anyway a lasting tradition. Many young parents don’t have their children vaccinated. This is why it is up to everyone. The only thing is that we understood and what we clearly see now is that if in November this wasn’t so obvious, now we have seen that it [vaccination] is the only way [to survive the pandemic]. Here people say only numbers. We here can say what was confirmed. Now it is confirmed that those countries that were vaccinated went through this [pandemic] much faster. In other words, the same Europe is now opening in general, though they have this ‘autumn’ season, it is anyway somehow longer, and the population is much older, consequently, they are more vulnerable to the disease. Here we are now at the same point we were a year ago,” he said.
Here we should mention the cafe Madame Pavlova that announced it serviced all visitors including without QR codes about vaccination against coronavirus or the disease one recovered from in December by declaring the establishment “a territory of constitutional rights.” The association claimed then it was ready to provide all available materials about what was happening in “red” zones so that representatives of the industry could understand the essence of the problem.
“They are members of the association, they are a part of our community, group chat,” said Galina Sharafutdinova. “We offered them our legal assistance if needed. We don’t criticise them, but we have our own stance, it is different from that of our colleagues. But they didn’t leave the group, that’s to say, we don’t exclude them from the group, neither did they leave it voluntarily. When we said if we excluded or not, we don’t do this if they don’t wish it. In other words, they see everything happening in our sector, they, I think stay tuned for this news. The thing is that it is different opinions. And people, according to the Constitution, have the right to their opinion.”
“If we stop with the omicron, then the sector will recover by late 2022”
Talking about revenue and income of catering establishments, they should be divided at least into two categories, said Board Chairman of the Association of Restaurants and Hotels, Director General of Tale cafe Mikhail Sharipov. Clubs and the bar industry are the first category.
“We don’t speak about how much their income fell... We can say there was a loss in 202, and the same loss remained in 2021 too. Perhaps, there is some growth [of income], but the rise in salaries, a higher price for products eliminates it,” Sharapov noted.
The situation is different in the restaurant business, which makes most revenue until 23.00.
“It is easier for them anyway. I think that income reduced by some 40% in 2021. Why 40% Because salaries rose, prices for products rose, while restaurants can raise prices in the same way. Therefore profitability falls so seriously, in fact,” concluded the board chairman of the association.
Galina Sharafutdinova answered Realnoe Vremya’s question about when the sector would return to its pre-pandemic life.
“If there are not any additional coronavirus waves, if we end with the omicron, then the sector will recover by late 2022. If there are additional restrictions, some shocks in the sector, we cannot say we will return to the previous regime and stability, of course. But we really hope for the summer season, we can work in good conditions and prepare for winter, the low season. Our main task today is to provide safety to ourselves, our employees, our guests and of course cope with all difficulties of coronavirus.”