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Interview with Dehoga boss: Tough catalog of demands to Merkel and countries - "Openings in May"


Gastronomy and the hotel industry see themselves as "special victims" in the coronavirus pandemic in Germany. In an interview with, the Dehoga boss calls for openings in May - and sharply criticizes politics.

Gastronomy and the hotel industry see themselves as "special victims" in the coronavirus pandemic in Germany.

In an interview with, the Dehoga boss calls for openings in May - and sharply criticizes politics.

Munich - They have been closed since November 2nd.

Taverns, inns, restaurants, bars and pubs, hotels and guest houses, holiday resorts and beer gardens.

There is no question about it: the catering and hotel industries have to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in Germany.

Guido Zöllick is the President of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga).

An interview about almost limitless disappointment, longing for joie de vivre and the end of patience. Mr. Zöllick, how many restaurateurs and hoteliers see no future for their companies after months in lockdown?

Guido Zöllick (50): 

In our most recent survey from March, one in four entrepreneurs stated that they were specifically considering giving up a business.

It doesn't necessarily have to be bankruptcy.

It can be a family who, under these circumstances, no longer sees any prospects for their business.

An example: Am I ready to take out a loan again at the age of 60?

But there are also those who are economically ruined by the Corona crisis and have to file for bankruptcy.

The need in the hospitality industry is huge.

75 percent of the companies fear for their existence.

Gastronomy and hotel industry in the Corona crisis: 75 percent of companies fear for their existence

Looking at your members: who is most affected?

All hosts have the opportunity to become a member of the Dehoga Association.

We are talking about hotels and pensions, restaurants, motorway service areas, caterers and discos.

The discos and clubs have been hit incredibly hard, many of them have been permanently closed since the beginning of the corona pandemic.

The location of the city and conference hotels is particularly dramatic.

Trade fairs and congresses do not take place, tourists are sorely lacking, business trips are almost non-existent.

Does your industry feel disadvantaged?

Our industry makes a special sacrifice so that the rest of the economy and schools can stay open.

These financial losses must be compensated promptly, unbureaucratically and comprehensively.

We need to get the damage reimbursed, 100 percent, not just a little.


Dehoga boss: Guido Zöllick.

© IMAGO / Reiner Zensen

Corona crisis in Germany: Hotels and restaurants are demanding 100 percent compensation

Because there is no 100 percent compensation?

The reimbursement of fixed costs as part of the bridging aid must be increased to 100 percent for all companies in view of the endless lockdown of the industry.

At the moment it is graded according to the size of the company.

Only 70 to 90 percent of the fixed costs are reimbursed.

In the worst case scenario, I as a company pay 30 percent myself, even though I don't generate any sales.

That does not work like this.

In the Corona crisis, it has long been discussed that politicians no longer know what the grassroots look like.

For example, the work involved in a pub.

One or two decision-makers do indeed need tutoring on how the catering or hotel industry work and what the corona measures mean for companies, their employees and families.

But we also have good discussions with members of the Bundestag and Landtag.

Politicians need to know how much our industry is valued.

There is, for example, artist X, who played at Gasthof Y every Friday evening.

The brewery can no longer sell its beer.

The laundry has run out of jobs.

The small organic farm cannot get rid of its meat or vegetables.

The far-reaching corona restrictions for our industry also hit our partners with full force.

Corona lockdown in Germany: the hotel and catering industry are fighting for survival

Is the social role of gastronomy and the hotel industry being played down?

We are more than places where people can eat, drink and sleep.

It's not just about getting full with us.

With us, people come together and exchange ideas.

We stand for joie de vivre and quality of life.

That is what people are missing right now.

The hospitality industry is indispensable for the functioning of society and therefore politicians must do everything to ensure the survival of the industry.

Many of my colleagues are at the end of their nerves and finances.

Dehoga boss Guido Zöllick

Instead, many restaurateurs and hoteliers continue to wait, as one can hear, for economic aid from the state.

The November and December aid took a long time, but has now actually been paid out in full to 90 percent of the smaller businesses.

However, for the remaining 10 percent it is absolutely unacceptable that payments continue to be made.

In particular, the large companies that exceed 1.8 million euros in aid have in many cases not yet received any money.

There is a so-called claim settlement for them.

Companies have only been able to apply for this since February 27.

Corona economic aid: Not everything has been paid off in the coronavirus pandemic in Germany

Do you have an example?

I know of a hotel group with almost 30 properties across Germany, some of them in an expensive city-center location.

Ongoing fixed costs such as leases can quickly add up to several million euros.

The federal states that grant the permits have to step on the gas here.

They are really big employers.

Tens of thousands of employees fear for their jobs.

And the frustration among your colleagues is deep?


Many of my colleagues have their backs to the wall and are at the end of their nerves and finances.

Many have accumulated huge frustration, disappointment and anger.

I didn't set up a company and set up my own business so that I needed support from the state.

I want to work, my employees want to work.

We haven't been able to do that for six months.

You get mentally difficult.

Politicians always point to an uncertain data situation on corona infection.

It cannot be understood that we still do not have any reliable data to evaluate the infection process and derive meaningful and targeted measures from it.

We have a pandemic for a year, but we don't feel like we're learning anything!

We also expect maximum effort during vaccination and testing as well as reliability.

If resolutions of the MPK (

Prime Minister's


, ed

.) Are withdrawn or not implemented in individual countries, we lose confidence in politics.

Our industry urgently needs a perspective.

This requires a catalog of measures that clearly and uniformly regulates the values ​​from which opening can be made and when must be closed.

It is no longer just a matter of looking at the incidence.

The criteria must be: How many people have we vaccinated?

How does the test strategy work.

How is the workload in the intensive care units?

Coronavirus pandemic: restaurants and hotels want to reopen soon - "inside and outside"

When do you think restaurants and hotels have to be allowed to reopen at the latest?

Based on the statistics of the Robert Koch Institute, we know that the catering and hotel industries are not pandemic drivers at all.

Our protection and hygiene concepts work.

We expect to be able to reopen hotels, holiday apartments and restaurants in May.

In any form, inside and outside.

It is much safer than when people are crowded together in groups at home or in a city park.

You cannot lock people up permanently.

Our industry is not the problem, but the solution.

An interview by Patrick Mayer

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-04-13

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