As the food service sector reopened for business this week following over two months with its shutters down, a consumer survey found that two-thirds of consumers do not intend to visit any restaurants this year, while almost a third of Greeks will not be going on holiday this year.
The results of a survey by the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA) show that tavernas and restaurants will have a hard time recouping the losses they incurred in the period from March 14 to May 24 when they had to stay closed upon government order.
Half of the 1,050 people who participated in the survey said they do not intend to visit a restaurant this year, given fears about the spread of the coronavirus, and another 17% went as far as saying they do not want to go to a restaurant ever again. Only 33% of respondents expressed the intention to go out to eat at some point during this year.
If these forecasts prove correct, the food service sector is in for an even greater blow in the seven months till the end of the year (at least). Monday, the first day that restaurants were allowed to reopen, was particularly quiet, according to Giorgos Kavvathas, the head of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE).
He stated on Tuesday that restaurant turnover was down 95% compared to a normal day before the coronavirus outbreak, while cafes fared somewhat better, reaching 50% of pre-Covid-19 turnover. At this rate, Kavvathas argued, one in three food service enterprises will soon close down.
The IELKA survey further showed that less than a quarter of Greeks (24%) will take their usual number of holidays this year, while another 17% said they would go on more limited holidays than in previous years. Three in 10 respondents (30%) said they do not think they can go on holiday at all this year, including 8% that think they may not be able to take a holiday in 2021 either.
The same survey revealed that only 28% of consumers have stopped wearing face masks when going into shops, but 41% say they will not stop at all within 2020. One in three of the survey’s participants also said they will continue to wear plastic gloves when shopping next year too.