The brewers justify a rapid reopening of the catering industry: “Without this, a third of this cultural heritage recognized by Unesco risks disappearing”

The Belgian Brewers federation is relying on these catastrophic figures to call for a calm debate on a rapid reopening of the hospitality industry. Given the importance of this sector, both economically and in terms of life in society and the mental health of Belgians, this would be part of the solution to get out of the health crisis, say the brewers.

Presented on Tuesday at the Maison des Brasseurs in Brussels, Graydon’s figures are clear: while 87.5% of small breweries were in good financial health in March 2020, only 28% are still, while 27% are experiencing difficulties and 32% are on the verge of bankruptcy.

As for bars and cafes, if 80.2% had a positive balance sheet before the crisis, there were only 37% in March 2021, while 26% are experiencing great difficulties and 18% are threatened with bankruptcy. Also according to the study, this situation puts at risk 600 direct jobs in the brewery sector and 13,000 in that of bars and cafes. It even threatens the future of companies that are still healthy today, in particular by reducing their capacity for investment and innovation.

Therefore, the director of Belgian Brewers Krishan Maudgal brings their support to the owners of cafes and restaurants, who demand the reopening of the terraces during the Easter holidays and a total reopening on May 1, as well as significant financial support. “Otherwise, a third of this cultural heritage recognized by Unesco risks disappearing,” he said during an online press conference.

According to him, the hospitality industry is part of the solution to getting out of the crisis, thanks to the social control exercised by the café owners in their establishment and to the strict protocols defined by the hospitality federations and experts. Every day counts because the closure of the sector represents each week ten millions of additional refinancing, beyond the support measures, he estimates.

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