In some places, sales of restaurants are even higher than in 2019. The sector is now worried about labor shortages.
About interest rate restrictions the vacated restaurants are preparing for the spring festival season with confidence. For example, in the S Group’s restaurants, the booking books for Labor Day and Mother’s Day already look pretty good and many places will be sold out. May Day and Mother’s Day have traditionally been good restaurant days.
“With Korona behind us, there is a clear need for groups of friends and families to be able to celebrate these parties at a common table,” says SOK’s Senior Vice President, Catering. Juha Lindholm.
The restaurant group NoHo Partners is in a similar mood: there are plenty of reservations for its restaurants for both days.
“The warm weather last week has clearly attracted people out of their corona holes and life goes on,” says the CEO Aku Vikström.
Restaurant business overall seems to be returning to normal. In the S Group’s restaurants, sales figures in April were already at pre-Korona levels. Director Juha Lindholm points out that the first little Christmas season in three years without restrictions is probably ahead of the end of the year.
“Yes, a good year is expected for restaurants. If there is nothing surprising about the corona, ”he says.
At NoHo Partners, sales figures have even slightly exceeded the 2019 level. According to CEO Vikström, this is partly a pent-up demand that may still level off.
“Right now, in bigger cities, it’s practically impossible to get a table at food restaurants if you can’t book it in advance. In other words, we are already caught up in such a European phenomenon. ”
A similar outlook for the rest of the year is also expected by the Tourism and Restaurant Interest Association (Mara). According to a survey a few months ago, demand for restaurants would be recovering, although the continuation of telecommuting is reflected in the sale of lunch restaurants.
With a corona however, there are still reflections in the restaurant industry. Mara is particularly concerned about labor shortages, as the organization estimates that thousands of workers in the restaurant industry have changed industries during the pandemic.
According to Lindholm, the S Group has, for example, still had many applicants for summer jobs, but NoHo Partners has had fewer applicants than normal.
“Especially in the summer, if demand is strong and the weather is good, the staff we have will be under a heavy strain if we don’t get extra help for these peak times. That’s the concern that arises: staff coping with tough customer pressure, ”says CEO Vikström.