The Czech brewing industry recorded a loss of over CZK4.7bn (€179mn) in March to May due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and related government measures, as stated in a study conducted by the Center for Economic and Market Analysis (CETA), published on July 28.
The most negatively affected were restaurants and bars, which were forced to close overnight. Beer sales in this segment decreased by 55% (728,000 hectoliters) between March and May. The losses of the breweries in terms of sales exceeded CZK1.104mn. Sales of bottled beer, which was sold more in stores, increased by about CZK794mn.
“The hospitality and beer industries suffered significant losses during the coronavirus crisis. Most pubs reopened in June, but the coming weeks will decide whether they survive. The most critical situation is in Prague, Karlovy Vary and other localities dependent on tourism,” said executive director of the Czech Association of Breweries and Malthouses Martina Ferencova, quoted by the Czech News Agency.
“For the next period, it will be crucial for the government to continue to support the most affected sectors, including the hospitality industry, and at the same time not burden them with new administrative and regulatory measures,” Ferencova stressed.
In connection with possible concerns about the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants fear further possible closures and further losses.
“Although the pubs and restaurants are open, we definitely have not won. Demand is still subdued in many places, while costs are returning to their original levels. Especially in tourist locations, restaurants need help as well as hotels and spas. Following the example of the tourism agenda, also the National Gastronomy Support Program should be established. With a clear agenda and action plan,” said co-founder of the Hospodska restaurant group Lubos Kastner.