The cold season is just around the corner – and with it the construction of winter bar gardens and the use of “heating sponges” for the catering industry in the federal capital.
Peter Dobcak, chairman of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce for Gastronomy, in an interview on krone.tv: “The sponge heaters are our last reserve in winter. In advance, we ask guests to dress warmly for their stay outdoors, blankets are distributed and the restaurant owners check whether seat heating is useful. And only when all this does not work, the sponge heaters are turned on. But they must always remain switched off when no one is outside.”
“Catering costs have risen dramatically”
According to Dobcak, prices in Viennese restaurants have rightly been increased: “I have been going around for years and saying everywhere that we have to make our offering more expensive because costs in the catering industry have risen extremely. That happened this year too, and now the relationship makes some sense. Even though we are still cheap compared to international standards.”
In general, business in the Viennese catering industry is currently going well despite the increased prices: “Although we still have to optimize costs in the sector, we are now generally more satisfied than in previous years.”
“Difficult to find good and motivated staff”
However, the biggest problem remains the staff situation: “It is extremely difficult to find good and motivated staff. The weekend working hours in particular put many people off.” The staff is a very important factor in the economic success of the companies: “Guests in expensive restaurants are also willing to pay for good service. And those who cannot or do not want to afford it go to self-service restaurants. Because self-service eliminates the need for wait staff, the offering is correspondingly cheaper.” Self-service is currently booming in Vienna, but the more expensive restaurants are also doing well. Only those ‘in the middle’ should ensure they are not left behind.
You can see many more details about the Viennese catering industry in the video above.
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I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.