Restaurant laws wage increase South Africa
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  • New data show that hotels and guest houses earned R15.5 billion less in income last year compared to 2019.
  • These establishments were only 25% occupied in December - peak holiday season.
  • Restaurants were also hit hard, but fast-food outlets were less affected. 
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Statistics SA has released new numbers that paint a grim picture of how the pandemic wrecked restaurants, hotels and guest houses last year.

Hotels, guest houses, lodges and other accommodation venues earned R15.5 billion less income in 2020 than in 2019 - R9.8 billion versus R25.3 billion, the Stats SA report shows.

Hotels, guest houses, caravan parks and campsites were only around 25% occupied in December - peak holiday season - as the beach ban and other lockdown regulations kept visitors away.

Source: Statistics SA

In the fourth quarter of last year, hotels’ income was down two-thirds from the same period in 2019, while the income from guest houses and guest farms halved. Owners of caravan parks and camping sites were less scathed, with their income down “only” 37%.

Restaurants and coffee shops took a R3 billion hit in the last quarter of 2020, earning only R5.1 billion in income, from almost R8.2 billion in the same period in 2019, Stats SA data shows. While the ban only kicked in on 28 December, their alcohol sales halved in the month. Sales of food were 27% lower.

Takeaway and fast-food outlets managed better, with their income down R250 million to R4.7 billion.

Source: Statistics SA

Catering services lost half their income in the quarter to R1.2 billion.

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