In June, the average Czech’s spending on lunch in a restaurant rose to CZK 137, nine crowns more than before the pandemic broke out, the news site iDNES.cz wrote on Tuesday.
The average sum Czechs spent on lunch in 2019 was over CZK 120.
Spending has risen in all regional cities except Prague and Brno over the past year. Spending in Plzeň is currently the highest, at CZK 143.90, according to data on meal voucher card payments from Edenred.
Current spending on restaurant lunches is on average three percent higher than last June, when the first wave of the pandemic was unleashed.
In three regional cities, the average spending exceeded CZK 140, as stated by data from payments made by more than 250,000 employees who use Edenred’s meal voucher card.
“The three percent year-on-year growth reflects the inflation trend in the Czech Republic. We expect lunch prices and spending levels to continue to rise,” says Edenred CEO Nicolas Eich. Catering businesses are facing higher prices for raw materials and staff shortages. Czechs are also dining out less than in the past.
Edenred recorded 57 percent fewer lunch transactions this June than in the pre-pandemic period. In June 2020, that drop was only 22 percent.
“It turns out that the foodservice crisis is not over with the end of the last coronavirus wave; the declines in food sales are higher than we expected,” Eich says.
According to him, there has not been the wave of euphoria that there was last year during the first rollout when people thought the pandemic was over and went out in droves to support restaurants.
Unlike in previous years, Prague does not dominate in this respect. In the metropolis, the average expenditure has fallen by eight crowns over the past year.
“The capital has the highest proportion of people working in offices and these employees also have the highest food allowances. But because they continue to work largely from home, Prague restaurants have lost a significant proportion of their creditworthy customers,” Eich explains.
A slight decline in spending is also visible in Brno, where the average amount has fallen by less than three crowns over the past year. People spend the least on lunch in restaurants in Olomouc, where they pay an average of about CZK 126.