Image default

Gastronomy hopes for a new summer fairytale

The European Football Championship will fill the bars and restaurants in Germany. The hospitality industry is looking forward to the rush. However, it is difficult to find additional staff for hotels, restaurants and bars.

David Zajonz

The guests booked in his hotel's computer system come from all corners of Europe. “English, Serbian, Portuguese, Georgian,” says hotel manager Sami Nofal. The reason all these people are coming to Gelsenkirchen is because of the European Football Championship. Their national teams will be playing in the “Auf Schalke” arena from mid to late June. “We benefit twice,” says the hotel manager, looking ahead to the upcoming tournament.

Guests in the hotel and in the beer garden

Firstly, there are the overnight guests. On match days, the hotel charges twice as much for a room as usual. Demand is high, but the supply in the city itself is rather limited. Of the ten European Championship host cities, Gelsenkirchen is by far the smallest. Around 260,000 people live here, and there are far fewer hotels than in Berlin, Munich or Hamburg.

On the other hand, Heiner's Parkhotel runs a large beer garden and also supplies the official fan zone of the city of Gelsenkirchen with food and drinks. “Of course there will be a lot of fun,” says manager Nofal, looking forward to the daily stage program during the tournament.

Industry association draws parallels to the 2006 World Cup

According to a survey by the industry association Dehoga, around 15 percent of hotels and restaurants nationwide expect positive economic impulses from the European Championship. In the host cities of the European Championship, this figure is almost half of all businesses.

The Hotel and Restaurant Association also points to possible long-term effects and draws a parallel to the 2006 World Cup. The “positive, friendly image of Germany” from back then still has an impact today. The association hopes that guests at the European Championships will perhaps develop a taste for it and want to visit Germany again.

Workers over Personnel service provider find

In the short term, the tournament means additional work for some restaurant owners because more staff is needed. Nofal and his team knew from the start that catering for the fan zone would not be possible without external help. However, workers are hard to find in the catering industry.

“The market is so empty that you can hardly get anyone through normal channels,” says the hotel manager. He therefore uses a personnel service provider through which he can “loan” workers for short periods. The staff he gets through this method costs him about two and a half times as much as his regular employees.

Union: Low wages reason for staff shortages

The Food, Beverages and Catering Union (NGG), which represents employees in the hospitality industry, among others, criticizes the comparatively low pay in the industry. This is the main reason for the shortage of staff, it says: “Our surveys of employees also prove this clearly.”

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of North Rhine-Westphalia, on the other hand, sees “increasing academization and demographic development” as the main reason for the lack of staff.

The shortage of staff during the European Championships is unlikely to be as great in all parts of the hospitality industry as it was in the Gelsenkirchen hotel. In many places, the European Championships fall during an otherwise rather quiet period, according to the Hotel and Restaurant Association of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Students and high school graduates as temporary workers

Restaurant owner Giuseppe Saitta feels well prepared for the tournament. He runs an Italian restaurant in Düsseldorf, where European Championship games are also being held. Saitta has already found some temporary help for the summer – students and high school graduates. But the situation is not necessarily different from other years: “We increase capacity in the summer anyway because we have terraces open then.”

Saitta sits on the Düsseldorf city council for the CDU and is active in the hotel and restaurant association. After the crisis years of the corona pandemic and the rising energy prices, he says, the restaurant industry could use a little boost. “We are looking forward to so many people coming to Düsseldorf.”

Related posts

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.