Entrepreneur Catering: 27.3 billion losses for the CHR

Catering: 27.3 billion losses for the CHR

It’s hard to know how the start of 2021 will really look for restaurants. The remarks of the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire and of the Prime Minister Jean Castex indicating that it was not guaranteed that the establishments could reopen on January 20, while depending on the circulation of the virus, have something to worry even more a profession lacking in prospects.

The balance sheet for 2020, on the other hand, can begin to be drawn up. In the out-of-home consumption sector, which also includes canteens and shops outside supermarkets, losses from January to November amount to 27.3 billion euros, according to Food Service Vision. The only commercial catering accounts in this set for 21.5 billion, including 5 billion accumulated in October and November out of the 5.9 billion overall shortfall during these two months.

Second shock

The fifth strategic review “Food Service & Covid-19”, published by the cabinet, points to the devastating effect for restaurants that the curfew and confinement have successively had. If, after a summer that was finally more favorable than expected, they had succeeded in limiting the damage in September with a drop of only 26% in their turnover compared to 2019, the need to be home after 9 p.m. from mid-October saw sales decline by 39% during the month. And the ban on opening theaters triggered losses of 75% in November, when the total out-of-home consumption fell by 54%.

“This is a second shock for commercial catering. It suffers not only from the impossibility of serving at the table but also from the return to teleworking of many workers who buy less outside, and from the sharp decrease in business trips that began in October. But the extent of the decline is less significant than during the first containment with sales down 91% in April. This difference shows the sector’s capacity for reinvention, its resistance, as well as consumers’ appetite for what it can offer “, remarks the founding president of Food Service Vision, François Blouin.

Alternative ways of tasting small dishes have made a real place in the landscape. Last month, despite the context, one in three French people used take-out, which represents 66% of the meals purchased during the second confinement, and one in four has practiced delivery. Helping restaurateurs is the first reason given for this type of purchase, just before the desire to have fun.

However, there are significant disparities between establishments. The fast food is doing better with a 52% drop in turnover from September to November against 70% for so-called sit-down catering. In November, the first recorded 40% less sales compared to 81% for the second. About the transport and concession catering, it is almost at a standstill.

Different scenarios

“The first signals for December are positive. As soon as the non-essential stores reopened, functional consumption linked to flows and trips resumed in sandwich shops and fast food restaurants. In addition, people have a real urge to treat themselves for the holidays. One in three people might order a full meal at a restaurant for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. The month will be better than November ”, forecast François Blouin.

For 2021, different scenarios remain possible. “When it reopens, consumption will be driven by leisure-related opportunities”, he emphasizes. According to the most favorable hypothesis integrating rapid success of vaccination and its effects, the overall out-of-home catering market could show an increase of 21 points compared to 2020, without catching up to its 2019 level. less favorable case of a slower impact of vaccination on the pandemic, the market would remain at the same level as in 2020 and lose, according to estimates, 35% in value.

One thing is certain, the French care about their restaurants and are less fearful than in April. Three quarters are showing their willingness to return when they have reopened.

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