In the course of March, the closure of the gastronomy industry came into force in all German federal states. Just over a week ago, most German restaurateurs opened their doors again. How do suppliers to the catering industry look back on the past months? And how do they look forward to the near future? We talked to some catering suppliers about their experiences and expectations.
Karlsruhe: '60-70% of normal sales achieved'
The crisis has kept everyone on the Karlsruhe Weinweg in suspense. "At the beginning of the pandemic, we had a 90 percent drop in sales. Only the old people's homes and nursing homes were able to be serviced on an ongoing basis. Now, we are again generating around 60-70% of our normal sales," says Baris Karaman, a gastro-wholesaler at the local wholesale store. Various urgent measures have been taken to reduce business costs as much as possible. "We only worked twice a week for about 2-3 weeks. Also, we have our stocks down practically to zero."
Baris Karaman has been running a gastro-wholesale business at the Karlsruhe wholesale market since 2003. His delivery area extends from the Karlsruhe area via Baden to the Black Forest.
According to Karaman, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the gastronomy sector, although business is now slowly picking up again as a result of the reopening. "Pickup at the wholesale market is still very quiet, delivery is now slowly becoming a bit more". The wholesaler serves both small street corner snacks and upscale kitchens. "I believe that the situation is most difficult, especially for upscale restaurateurs."
Cologne: 'Bit by bit, things are getting a bit more relaxed'
The Cologne wholesale market is also feeling relief after several difficult months. "The catering business is slowly getting back on track", is how Nayif Uralkaya, senior manager of the wholesale store of the same name, sums up the situation. Between mid-March and the beginning of May, sales fell to just a quarter of the normal level, but now around 60-70 percent of the usual sales are being generated again. "Fortunately, my customers have survived the crisis so far - there have been no insolvency applications so far."
Together with his son, Nayif Uralkaya runs a catering wholesale business at the Cologne wholesale market. Alternative marketing forms would not be an option for him during the crisis. "In that case, we would have had to change everything from today to tomorrow."
He adds: "Our customers and the regional restaurateurs are all open again now. Bit by bit, the situation is becoming a bit more relaxed. The shopping behavior of his customers also seems to be returning to normal. "During the crisis, we sold almost only staple foods such as potatoes, stored vegetables and fruit vegetables, everything else was almost impossible to sell. In the meantime, we are once again supplying more unusual specialities, such as edible flowers and exotics," Uralkaya states.
For more information:
Karaman - Obst & Gemüse Großhandel
Weinweg 43 (Großmarkt)
Tel.: 0721 / 961 41 28 - 0
Fax: 0721 / 961 41 28 - 10