Czech village pubs are more endangered, 15 pct of them closed in four years

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2023-04-25   07:46

Pubs in villages and smaller towns with up to 5,000 inhabitants are the most threatened segment of the Czech gastronomy. According to data from Plzeňský Prazdroj, 15 percent of them have closed down in four years, over 1,300 establishments, including 250 last year. After two coveted years last year, their business was hit hard by the rising prices of all inputs, which they cannot fully pass on to guests, according to the brewery's spokesman Zdeněk Kovář.

"As a result, many operators are struggling with the difficult economic situation and are trying their best to preserve the pub as a traditional meeting place for people in the countryside," Kovář said. According to data from Prazdroj, the number of village pubs has fallen by 15 per cent over the past four years, half as many as the number of establishments in larger towns of over 100,000 inhabitants.

The Czech Republic's largest brewery has drawn on data from its traders, who say it is in settlements with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants that the situation is worst and the decline in pubs most marked.

According to Prazdroj's commercial chief Tmáš Mráz, the entire gastronomy industry is affected by the sharp rise in input prices. At the same time, many people in villages and smaller towns have switched to drinking beer in garages and gardens. And it is very difficult for pub owners in villages to find new customers," he said.

More than 17 per cent of restaurateurs are considering whether to continue in business, according to the brewer's survey of 856 pubs, with those in villages the most pessimistic. "In larger cities, a pub that is closing will often be taken over by a new tenant and its operation may be restarted with some changes, but in villages, closing a pub usually means its definitive end," said Petr Havel, an agricultural analyst.

Source: Plzeňský Prazdroj and CTK