What Kazan Cafe and Restaurant Owners Say About Selling Their Establishments
Traffic in restaurants and cafes in Kazan is expected to have declined: people still do not want to be vaccinated, while restaurant owners are prohibited from letting visitors in without QR codes. Incomes are falling and many entrepreneurs prefer to sell their business on such terms. The Realnoe Vremya correspondent spoke to two owners of public catering establishments who are now selling their businesses. Read in our report how many agencies are inspecting how anti-COVID-19 measures are being taken, what state support measures could help restaurateurs stay afloat, and whether Kazan businesses are going to have New Year’s parties. Year.
Cafes, restaurants and canteens for sale can be seen more often on ad sites in Kazan. In many cases, the burden of COVID-19 has turned out to be too heavy for them. Rail Fayrushin (not his real name) is convinced that it would be necessary to live at such a pace, so he decided to sell his business by placing his canteen on a popular ad site:
âI think everyone is in so much pain, many are in trouble. Someone wants to survive this time, while someone chooses to sell the business. This has been going on for two years now, and these restrictions will last for at least a year, which is why I decided to sell my canteen.
The interlocutor of Realnoe Vremya specifies that today collective catering is on alert. Inspectors can come at any time – and this is clear during the pandemic. Interestingly, even representatives of irrelevant agencies can perform controlled purchasing transactions:
According to the entrepreneur’s estimates, the losses due to the introduction of QR codes are significant, while the state compensation is not so generous at the moment:
Rail Fayrushin like many of his colleagues supposes that perhaps the control of QR codes in public transport should have been introduced earlier than in collective catering:
âNow QR codes are being introduced in public transport. I think this is correct, there are more people there than in a cafe, and the risk of infection is higher there. Maybe that’s where they should have started? Collective catering is not guilty of spreading the virus … “
“We bring back one in three people”
Konstantin Ivanov (not his real name) has also put his Balkan cuisine restaurant up for sale because COVID-19 and the relentless refusal of compatriots to be vaccinated has resulted in a critical drop in his income: it has to operate at a loss.
âWe check the codes and fire one in three people. Sometimes a group or friends or family come, someone doesn’t have a code, and they all leave. Revenues go down while costs go up. Disinfectants are needed, masks are needed for staff, while we change them once every 2-3 hours according to a regulation. You can’t work at a loss for long: I’m going to go bankrupt in six months, so I’m selling the business. Maybe someone will succeed in cementing the position, maybe the population will start to get vaccinated more actively. Someday people should understand this. But I don’t want to work at the moment.
According to our interlocutor, it is not easy to find buyers of a business: he receives calls, but there are a handful of those who are really interested in the business. Unlike his colleague, Ivanov thinks that the QR codes should have been introduced first in grocery stores, not in transport: âEveryone would have been immediately vaccinated. He says social distancing in cafes and restaurants is better maintained than in a store or a bus.
“We recorded a 60% drop in turnover”
The executive director of the Tatarstan Restaurant and Hotel Association, Galina Sharafutdinova, says that the introduction of restrictions has significantly reduced the turnover of public catering establishments, forcing many entrepreneurs to sell businesses:
âToday we are seeing a 60% decrease in turnover for restaurants and cafes compared to turnover before the restrictions were introduced. If we were to say in the first foreclosure that we have lost 20% of the market, it is no longer so obvious that there is a trend that entrepreneurs cannot resist it and start selling businesses. Here the legal person does not leave the market, it is a sale, the owner changes, a business is sold. This is why as for the statistical data, they are not taken into account, but sales are in progress. I once saw 10 restaurant ads for sale at a time … “
As for the existing and planned state support measures in the sector, Galina Sharafutdinova notes that they exist, but that they are not always sufficient:
What will help a restaurateur?
The executive director of the Tatarstan Restaurant and Hotel Association thinks tax and rental breaks could help entrepreneurs, restaurateurs have long been asking:
âThe measure that will free up the fourth quarter of taxes would be important. I am not talking about a respite but a release from regional taxes. Also, we want municipal costs to be subsidized as in Moscow. Last year there had been good support in the form of offsets for costs on disinfectants. We know the delivery fee subsidy plans to resume in 2022, and we look forward to it. It is also important that tenants in communal areas are at least partially released from payment or benefit from discounts. As for those who rent private facilities, giving tenants the option of not paying property tax would be a wise move. In turn, they would offer rent concessions for public catering.
New year calm?
There is no traditional buzz in party bookings, even on the threshold of the New Year’s holidays. Many, including highly sought-after establishments, still have open dates at the end of December, when everything was booked in mid-December. November. Galina Sharafutdinova says:
âThe demand is very low. There are few reservations, the most popular days were generally busy during this time. Today, there are many offers. We have spoken with companies that have organized corporate parties in our establishments, first of all, they care about safety. Someone usually cancels company parties. Someone does not understand what will happen to restaurants in December, they do not want to take risks and prefer to rent country houses and chalets … â