Beach cafes are increasingly staying open through the winter as catering on the coast becomes more popular and sophisticated, a survey has found.
This year 162 out of the 321 coastal cafes will be open all year round, compared to 120 five years ago. The busiest stretch of coastline, at Scheveningen near The Hague, has been relatively late in adopting the trend with only one restaurant, De Waterreus, having a year-round licence.
Better facilities and the introduction of winter menus, such as soup and rolls, have helped draw more customers in the off-season. Stephan van der Stee, of the Dutch Association of Beach Entrepreneurs (NVSN), told NOS: ‘We’ve seen a big development. What started out as beach huts serving cheese sandwiches and kroket has expanded into restaurants with parties and large groups.’
He said there were clear advantages for cafe owners to staying open throughout the year. ‘It gives the staff more job security. You can give the chef a one-year contract, for example.’
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