Traditional inns: a striking number of vacancies
In the old town of Salzburg, vacancies in traditional inns are increasing. According to the industry, it is becoming more difficult for larger companies to find new tenants due to the lack of staff, but expensive and restrictive lease agreements are also a contributing factor.
For more than three years, Gasthof Steinlechner in Salzburg-Parsch has been a problem child in gastronomy. At the end of December, the leaseholder in the long-established business gave up. The reasons for this were a mixture of rising prices, a lack of staff and, most recently, sick leave, it said on request.
But even in the previous years, the tenants of the inn along the heavily frequented street had changed again and again. Now a new operator has to be found for the inn in the Parsch district. “The traditional tavern is on the decline, while ethnic businesses are growing like mushrooms – it hurts twice as much that some of the long-established taverns have been closed for a long time,” says Ernst Pühringer, spokesman for the catering industry at the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce.
Industry reports of high lease and gag contracts
One of the reasons for these problems is the lack of staff in the industry, emphasizes the top representative of the Salzburg innkeepers – but the staffing problem is not the only reason for the currently widespread vacancies: “One of the main reasons is that the rent for some companies is extremely high and this does not mean that you can work economically. There are always entrepreneurs who dare and after two years they realize that it won’t work out,” says Pühringer. Another reason given by the innkeeper’s spokesman is gag contracts, where tenants are forced to buy beer or wine from a certain supplier.
Breweries are defending themselves against accusations
The Salzburg breweries, however, deny this accusation of gag contracts. At Trumer-Bier in Obertrum (Flachgau), they emphasize that they negotiate with their 20 or so partner companies on an equal footing and pay attention to a good balance. Stiegl, as the largest Salzburg brewery in Salzburg-Maxglan, looks similar: long-term leases are concluded here and would represent a win-win situation for both parties, according to the brewery.
Vacancies run through all parts of the city
The Gasthof Untersberg in Salzburg-Maxglan is also one of the long-vacant inns – a new tenant has now been found here. Another prominent example of vacancies is the Strasserwirt in Salzburg-Leopoldskron. A new tenant is due to open here again in the spring.