In the first three months of this year, the Dutch catering industry already generated 14 percent less turnover than in the comparable period last year. This is the first drop in turnover in seven years.

This is reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Friday. The measures against the further spread of the coronavirus did not take effect until mid-March. According to Statistics Netherlands, the decline was also mainly in that month.

The largest loss of turnover was attributable to caf├ęs and restaurants, with decreases of more than 16 and almost 17 percent respectively. "The turnover of fast food restaurants and canteens and catering declined less sharply, but still fell by 8.9 and 9 percent respectively," says Statistics Netherlands. "The hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit sectors due to measures against the spread of the corona virus."

For hotels and holiday parks, sales fell by about 15 percent in the first three months of this year. "A quarter earlier, the turnover of accommodation providers increased by 1.1 percent," says Statistics Netherlands. Hotels were hit the hardest, with nearly 17 percent less income.

Pessimism is high in the catering industry

Statistics Netherlands also gauges the mood among entrepreneurs about expectations for the future. That confidence declined in all industries in the current quarter. "Due to the many company closings due to the measures against the spread of the coronavirus, pessimism was by far greatest among entrepreneurs in the catering industry."