Restaurateurs in despair, despite the “rise” of tourism: most tourists are limited to only a salad

As summer enters its peak month, foreign tourists are expected to peak and the islands are almost 100% full, but catering revenues… are not that encouraging.

According to a report presented by the central news outlet of the Alfa channel, 1 in 2 entrepreneurs see a drop in turnover, and 6 out of 10 see their customers consuming less and less food due to forced price increases caused by inflation and the energy crisis.

According to restaurateurs, tourists go to eat no more than once a week, and their bills do not exceed 10-13 euros per person.

“We are seeing a huge drop in turnover in our stores, more than 40% compared to last year’s turnover. While we expected the situation to improve over the summer as a large number of foreign visitors had not gone on vacation outside their home country in the previous two years due to the pandemic and presumably made corresponding savings for vacations going forward, the reality speaks for itself. We see that July is over, and while we are trying to reduce our operating costs by avoiding hiring staff, income on some days of the month did not exceed our expenses,” says the owner of the tavern.

And all this despite the fact that hotels not only on the islands, but also in the capital are almost full! “Foreign tourists this year, although they filled the country’s hotels, but … are very tight-fisted in their spending. They look at the menu very carefully and often order the cheapest, counting every euro.

Even a family business without employees can go bankrupt when customers order mostly salad and tzatziki for lunch. The restaurant is slowly “dying” and needs financial support from the state, as it has supported so many other industries,” says the owner of the central restaurant.

“We restaurant entrepreneurs are not doing very well. While jobs are generally plentiful, staff turnover is very low. There are no more … elite establishments, whose customers ordered only expensive dishes, not caring about their price. We have lost a lot of income from Russian and Ukrainian clients in previous years.

We also miss the gourmet Greeks who ordered the best the tavern had. It is also surprising that this year our foreign clients have completely forgotten what tips. The British, Germans and Italians almost never tip waiters,” says the restaurant owner.

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