Beer for two, fryer for 17 crowns. Restaurants are becoming more expensive, but Prague is no longer able to spend
Czechs don’t go to restaurants for lunch as often as they did before the lockdown. This is shown by the numbers of food companies that have the online daily Aktuálně.cz available. However, he will spend more than him as a result than before. Or they prefer Asian bistros and fast food in general, Czech cuisine is not so popular yet.
In June, Czechs pay an average of 137 crowns for lunch in a restaurant, which is the highest since the Edenred food company monitors prices. Compared to the beginning of this year, it is five crowns more. Compared to the beginning of 2019, ie the period before the outbreak of the pandemic, this means a reduction of nine crowns. But if we compare the spending with last June, when the release occurred after the first wave of covid, then they are only three percent higher.
Fill it in from the so-called Ticket Restaurant Card Index, which is composed of payments from more than 250,000 employees using a payment meal card.
According to the food company Edenred, the 3% year-on-year growth reflects inflation in the Czech Republic. “We expect that the prices of lunches and the amount of spending will continue to rise. Restaurants are facing rising costs. Prices of raw materials are rising, they will have to financially motivate employees to return to the hospitality sector and last but not least more “less often than usual,” describes Edenred CEO Nicolas Eich.
The fryer and espresso became more expensive
The problem with rising costs or rising raw materials, which, among other things, lead to higher holiday prices, is also seen by the cash register system operator, Storyous. For the online daily Aktuálně.cz, it exclusively compared the development of prices for specific items between 2019 and 2021.
According to the company’s data, for example, a pint of beer has risen in price by as much as two crowns in the last two years. Of the coffee drinks, espresso rose the most, by as much as eight percent. “In 2019, its average price was around 41 CZK, this year it reached up to 44 crowns. As for another popular drink, which is cappuccino, there was an increase in prices from the original 53 CZK to 57 crowns,” calculates the Story in the analysis.
Among the popular lunch items, Storyous focused on fried cheese, the average price of which has remained as high as 15 percent since 2019, from CZK 118 to CZK 135 per serving.
“We also saw an increase in items such as burgers or french fries. There was a six percent reduction in prices, which in the case of burgers apply from the original 174 CZK to 184 crowns and in the case of french fries from 40 CZK to 43 crowns,” the company adds.
|Beer||Espresso||Fried cheese||French fries||Hamburger|
|2019||40 CZK||41 CZK||118 CZK||40 CZK||174 CZK|
|2020||41 CZK||43 CZK||128 CZK||42 CZK||184 CZK|
|2021||42 CZK||44 CZK||135 CZK||43 CZK||184 CZK|
|Total (2019/2021)||+6%||+ 7%||+ 15%||+ w%||+ 6%|
There are fewer payments, but their amount is growing
That the Czechs had not yet fully returned to the restaurant after the lockdown registered the company according to the number of payments received. For example, according to Edenred, in June this year, when the gardens and interiors of companies were already open, the number of lunch transactions decreased by 57 percent compared to the time before the pandemic.
Weaker people’s interest in the restaurant is also confirmed by the competing company Sodexo. “According to the transactions, the Czechs are returning to the restaurant very slowly after their opening, and even today their visits to restaurant facilities are not at the pre-Jewish level,” confirms press spokeswoman Tereza Knířová for the online daily Aktuálně.cz.
Storyous then confirms the trend that despite the lower number of received payments than last year, their value increased. “The July data so far show the usual values by 9.6 percent compared to the same period last year, and by as much as 18 percent compared to the data from 2019,” the company confirms.
They no longer spend the most for lunch in Prague
In addition, the Edenred catering index showed that Prague lost the title of “the city with the highest spending for lunch” this year, as these expenses fell year-on-year. “The capital has the highest proportion of people working in offices and these employees also have the highest allowances for meals. Due to the fact that they continue to work largely from home, some creditworthy customers have lost their Prague importance,” says Eich.
For the first time, Pilsen took first place with the highest average decline for lunch, with almost 144 crowns. The fall in the ranking, together with the Czech capital, where they live for lunch, will now spend 140.2 crowns, Brno has also recorded. People in Olomouc do not have to pay for lunches from regional cities at all – and up to 125.7 crowns.
The average amount of payments for lunch in a restaurant
|City||June 2020||June 2021|
|Prague||148.9 CZK||140.2 CZK|
|Czech Budejovice||135.6 CZK||139 CZK|
|Pilsen||134.2 CZK||143.9 CZK|
|Carlsbad||129.1 CZK||137.3 CZK|
|Usti nad Labem||127.9 CZK||136.3 CZK|
|Liberec||132.9 CZK||140.2 CZK|
|Hradec Králové||131.1 CZK||134.2 CZK|
|Pardubice||130.9 CZK||137.3 CZK|
|Jihlava||124.2 CZK||134.2 CZK|
|Brno||138.2 CZK||135.4 CZK|
|Zlín||127.9 CZK||131.5 CZK|
|Olomouc||123.8 CZK||125.7 CZK|
|Ostrava||123.6 CZK||129.9 CZK|
|Czech Republic total||133.4 CZK||137 CZK|
According to the June data of the Czech start-up LemonPay, in recent weeks there has been the greatest interest in Asian bistros and restaurants and places with fast food preparation in general, ideally also in combination with delivery.
In contrast, traditional Czech restaurants, with a few exceptions – including a convenient location around a high concentration of offices without homeoffice employees – are in declining sales by tens of percent.
Interestingly, for higher expenses – typically those over 300 crowns for lunch – friends prefer mainly French, Italian and also exotic cuisine. LemonPay spokeswoman Kateřina Sechovcová nevertheless adds that this trend is related to the revival of interest in business meetings, especially in managerial positions.
A quarter of companies already have a meal voucher
In addition to the fact that many employees still work at the home office and eat at home, according to the head of Edenred Eich, the absence of a wave of euphoria, which came last year during the first loosening, may also be due to less interest in the restaurant. Back then, people went to a big restaurant to support, which now means so much Sunday.
“It also has the effect of introducing a flat rate, which, unlike meal vouchers, does not motivate people to visit restaurants,” Eich said. Sodexo agrees. “Thanks to this survey, only six percent of people spend money on lunch in a restaurant in addition to their paycheck,” recalls Knířová.
The meal voucher package, which has been the subject of extensive debate, has been introduced since 2021 as part of the so-called tax package. They enable employers to provide tax employees with a preferential meal allowance in cash that is not subject to levies and taxes.
According to LemonPay, this flat rate is reflected in shopping in supermarkets more than in the use of care funds, especially for people on lower incomes. “Many clients also use LemonPay as a platform for a meal voucher and a large part of the funds, about 70 percent, are used to buy food in supermarkets or online, and only a small part is used in restaurants, mainly cafes,” says Sechovcová.
According to a survey published by the Czech Chamber of Commerce for the Ministry of Finance in June among more than 600 employers, this flat rate is already offered to its people by 38 percent of employers. It’s about the same as those who benefit from racing meals.
“What company catering do we offer larger or large companies and rather in industry,
The meal voucher package began to be used mainly by micro and small businesses doing business in
services customer – oriented to other companies, “specified the results of the survey by the President of the Chamber of Commerce Vladimír Dlouhý.