Country inn vs. restaurant in the city: what are the concerns of restaurateurs?

In the ‘Good Question’ section, experts express their opinion on topics that stir up the hospitality industry. Short and sweet. The question on today’s menu: what are the main concerns of restaurateurs; what are the differences between urban and rural areas?

The experts on the topic:

  • Stefan Hummel, Michelin-starred chef, "Hummels Gourmetstube" in Wischenhofen in the Upper Palatinate.
  • Daniel Nawenstein, owner of the Peruvian restaurant La Cevi in Weberstrasse in Frankfurt's Nordend neighbourhood.
  • Kerstin Rapp-Schwan, owner of a total of five restaurants in and around Düsseldorf
Good Questions! One Question, three answers

What´s it all about?

In the ‘Good Question’ section, experts express their opinion on topics that stir up the hospitality industry. Short and sweet.

Stefan Hummel

was awarded a Michelin star in 2022 with "Hummels Gourmetstube" in Wischenhofen in the Upper Palatinate. The restaurant has been part of Gasthaus Hummel since 2015, where Bavarian country house cuisine has been on the menu for 100 years. The road to the star was exhausting, not least due to staff shortages. This is becoming more and more of a challenge.

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‘The staff shortages in rural areas are even worse than in the cities. We need good staff to be successful. It is quite difficult to find them. The value added tax hike is an additional challenge. Our running costs keep rising and although we pay a very fair wage, it is difficult to find new staff. It is particularly difficult to find young people who want to live in a rural area and are prepared to take the risk of an insecure job.’

Daniel Nawenstein

runs the Peruvian restaurant La Cevi in Weberstrasse in Frankfurt's Nordend district. For him, the VAT increase is currently the biggest challenge, and one with far-reaching consequences: he was forced to close the restaurant one day a week and lay off staff.

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‘I was hit hard by the value added tax increase. And that is despite the fact that my restaurant is located in a tourist area, we are always busy and my guests were prepared to pay higher prices. I adjusted my prices after the value added tax increase, but I didn't want to pass on the full amount of the increase to my guests. The higher prices are not enough to cover costs and survive in the long term. That’s why my restaurant is now closed on a Monday. Why? Because I couldn’t afford to pay the staff anymore. But even that isn’t enough. I also had to lay off good staff. That’s the only way for me to cover my costs right now.’

Kerstin Rapp-Schwan

runs a total of five restaurants in and around Düsseldorf with her partner Martin Rapp. She is a consultant and works on projects with Konen & Lorenzen Recruitment Consultants, sharing her experiences with other businesses. She knows that it's not just the bureaucracy that poses major challenges for restaurateurs but also finding a team – both in urban and rural areas .

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‘Finding hospitality staff has been difficult for some time, not just since the pandemic. And ours is the best industry in the world. And we have to explain to people why. We have to show them that working in the hospitality industry is great fun and very fulfilling. Whether you’re a service employee, chef, controller or marketeer. Finding staff has been challenging even before the pandemic, but it has worsened since then. This makes it all the more important for employers to create a good working environment. If you can do that, you’ll attract staff and build a good team. But – and this is very important – this will only succeed if the political conditions are right. The hospitality industry needs political advocates.’
Kerstin Rapp-Schwan

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