More cafés and restaurants for sale, for a longer time

Pub landlords and restaurant owners that are selling their property or putting it up for rent, often have to wait a long time before finding a candidate. They are often forced to lower their price. "Supply exceeds demand", says Gerrit Budts of Horeca Vlaanderen, the sector representing the hospitality industry.

Speaking in De Zondag, Gerrit Budts blames the poor economic climate. "Do pub and restaurant owners have a bright future ahead? It's not clear," he says. The government is imposing a new system that guarantees that official records are being kept of every payment made by customers. This is to avoid tax evasion in the sector. "Many self-employed are selling their business because of this. At the same time, potential investors are waiting to see what happens, postponing their investments."

High rents are also posing a problem. "Rent prices remain very high, while turnover has not risen accordingly. On top of that, we also see that many banks are hesitant to grant loans to entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry."