More than 4,000 cafes, restaurants and snack bars closed their doors permanently in the first six months of this year, according to new chamber of trade figures, quoted by news website Nu.nl.
The total is up 20% on last year and is higher than the first half of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic started. In addition, 141 hospitality industry firms went bust, the KvK said.
Hospitality industry body KHN has been monitoring the difficulties facing the sector, saying customer numbers are up but profits are still down.
“Owners are dealing with higher wages, rent increases and more expensive energy,” KHN chairwoman Marijke Vuik told Nu.nl. “Companies can only pass on so much of the increase to their clients… and profit margins are under pressure.”
At the same time many companies are struggling to find staff and dealing with tax and other debts built up during the pandemic, she said.
Research by the KHN earlier this year showed that 15% of cafes, bars and hotel owners are in serious financial difficulty.
Plans to raise the minimum wage, currently around €12, by more than agreed 1.7% will also hit the industry hard, Vuik said.
Much will depend on the election, but many of the big parties are calling for a hefty rise.
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