Our industry, event catering, faces an enormous challenge with the coronavirus outbreak and the current geographical spreading of infected persons worldwide. With news, messages and statements, ranging from false to unproven and with no clear or confusing public health or governmental guidelines or help, many companies are battling for survival. Event cancellations – bans or restrictions for public gatherings – affect the immediate short-term cash flow and endangers economic feasibility for many of our members.
Due to the most recent developments regarding the coronavirus outbreak, the EPCAS Board has decided to conduct a survey amongst its members and fellow catering executives in order to get a short situational analysis for our industry.
Amongst the 30 respondents, catering executives from the following countries have participated: Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. 62,1% of the respondents already suffered from cancellations caused by the outbreak of the virus. On the question of what one estimates as a possible sales/revenue loss for this year, the answer is 23% on average.
Even though some companies have not been affected yet by the outbreak of the coronavirus, this is expected to happen soon and when this happens our market will be among the first heavily impacted ones. Furthermore, European, national or local authorities are not supporting the catering industry yet with tax relief or any other form of financial help.
The overall feeling amongst the catering executives is that this is only the beginning of a major challenge with a huge impact on their companies. The EPCAS Board feels the Coronavirus has the potential to put a lot of event caterers at the brink of bankruptcy. Authorities are encouraged to raise awareness for the economic impact and asked to consider taking some actions to support our industry.
The EPCAS Board encourages all event caterers to continue to prepare for this critical situation. EPCAS will keep supporting its members and affiliates by providing the latest information and developments.
To receive the results of the conducted survey or for more information, please contact the EPCAS Office via firstname.lastname@example.org.