Beer to cost between 1% and 5% more when terraces and beer gardens reopen on Saturday

For the first time in almost 7 months, we will be able to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat at a bar or restaurant from tomorrow. For the time being at least only the outside space (terraces and gardens) of hospitality outlets will be open to customers, although we will of course be allowed inside if we need to visit the toilet. But will the partial reopening of bars bring with it an increase in the price we will be required to pay for a glass of our favourite tipple? VRT Radio 2’s consumer programme ‘De Inspecteur’ asked several bar owners and the Flemish hospitality industry federation if this will be the case. 

The answers given varied. Bar-owner Gino Vermeiren from the East Flemish town of Aalter told De Inspecteur that “We are going to put up the price of a glass of beer from 1.80 euro to 2 euro. The suppliers have increased their prices, so we have to follow suit”. 

It is a different story in the De Rooden Hoed bar in Antwerp, where the price of a beer was already relatively high. “Here you pay 3.20 euro for a beer”, the bar’s landlord Cas Gossens said.  “We increased our price a little after the first lockdown. So, we aren’t doing it now”.

The top chef Thijs Vervloet said that prices at his restaurant will be 7% higher than before the enforced closure. “We are putting our prices up by 7%. However, this hasn’t had an impact on reservations. We are fully booked all weekend”.

The Flemish hospitality federation Horeca Vlaanderen carried out a large-scale survey among its members. Horeca Vlaanderen’s Matthias De Caluwe told ‘De Inspecteur’ that “85% of hospitality outlets plan increases of between 1% and 5%. In other bars and restaurants there are increases of up to 15%”.

Mr De Caluwe added that increases are on the one hand caused by the extra investments business have had to make to become “corona-safe” and on the other by the increase in prices charged by suppliers. 

Theses rules must be followed

You will not need to register, but rather to reserve your table before visiting a bar or restaurant. Customers are requested to do this as far in advance as possible.

Bar and restaurant terraces will be allowed to open from 8am to 10pm.

A maximum of 4 people will be allowed to sit at any one table.

There must be a distance of 1.5 metres between the groups sat at each of the tables.

Table service only. Self-service and collecting food and drink from the bar is prohibited.

Customers and staff must wear face coverings at all times, except for when they are sat down at a table. Drinks and food must be consumed seated.

Customers will only be allowed inside to visit the toilet or to pay their bill.

Terraces must be open to the elements on a least one side. This means that terraces in fully enclosed spaces such as shopping centres will not be allowed to reopen.


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