“In gastronomy, Prague turns out to be a state within a state. If they try to stick to the concept of a Czech pub in the countryside, they are headed for the end,” said Lupos Kastner, representative of restaurateurs and gastronomes at the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Traders of the Czech Republic.
While restaurant sales in Prague rose 35 percent in the last quarter of last year and 22 percent in regional cities, they have already fallen slightly in cities with fewer than 20,000 residents. In municipalities with fewer than 5,000 residents, the drop was more than eight percent.
This follows from the analysis of the provider of cash register systems, Dotykačka. Inflation has been added to sales since recent years, which is more than a 20 percent increase in prices overall, so in reality it drops to a third in small towns and rural areas.
Lunches have risen in price by a fifth in a year, and restaurants are losing customers
“I closed the restaurant in December due to lack of business. For a long time we tried not to pay too much for lunches or beer, but in the end I had to pay a few crowns. Customers don’t come much and when they come for lunch, they have spaghetti and two plates,” the operator of a small restaurant in Debon told Bra.
He had a knife
“I will open again in the spring, but if people don’t come, I will stop operating. Financially, it is unsustainable and you can see people saving,” he added. According to him, people often had ready meals for lunch, not expensive minutes, and dinners were miserable. “A gentleman came in for a beer and ate a schnitzel with bread,” she recounted.
“Lunch is half-baked, beer culture is at zero,” confirmed Jozef Beno, owner of the popular Na Žabinci restaurant in Telč. According to him, in Vysosina, a town of 5,000 people, restaurants are generally the same.
“Lunch may be coming back soon, but going out for a beer, as we know it, in the evening when the pubs are full, is no more,” he pointed out.
Has a restaurant or pub in your area closed in the last year?
Yes, she even has a favorite
Yes, but I didn’t go there
A total of 2583 readers voted.
According to him, the weekly schedule looks like this: in the afternoon, a few seniors drink a beer or two, and on Wednesday they are supplemented by girls’ parties. And in the evening it is empty. “Sometimes even on weekends,” he pointed out.
According to him, the first nail in the coffin of beer drinkers was the smoking ban, followed by the second covid lockdown that put an end to entire pubs.
“Back then, everyone bought coolers and used to drink in garages,” recounts the Telč business owner. Current high inflation has reinforced the trend. But people are used to frequenting different bistros and stalls.
Sales of the owner of the castle restaurant on Horšovské Týn in Domažlicko fell by up to 15 percent. “People go out for lunch less often, maybe they are a little more comfortable. During the week, most of the tables are empty in the evening and we look for guests, but weekends are good,” explained owner Veronika Baumannova.
According to a Sodexo survey last December, the average price of lunch, including a drink, which not everyone can afford, is CZK 180.40. The most expensive lunches were in Prague at 203.50 CZK on average. The cheapest lunch was in Vysočín and Ústí region, where the price exceeded 161 crowns.
There is a growing interest in cheap racing canteens