Beer and spirit prices rising in Czech pubs, restaurants, and hotels

The hospitality sector has been hit hard with rising costs due to inflation and fewer guests due to Covid restrictions.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 15.11.2021 17:30:00 (updated on 15.11.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Beverages are becoming more expensive in Czech pubs and restaurants. Price increases in the catering sector had been expected, as establishments have to make up for lost revenue due to the Covid lockdowns. At the same time, inflation has been hitting all sectors of the Czech economy.

Restaurant gardens were allowed to reopen in the Czech Republic this year on May 17, and interiors on May 31. Since the reopening, prices have started to creep up, according to an analysis firm SharpGrid, which monitors the hotel, restaurant, and cafe (HoReCa) sector based on data from around 6,000 locations.

When restaurant and pub prices for the third quarter of this year are compared to the second quarter, people saw the biggest increases in spirits. Gin rose by an average of 8 percent to CZK 65 for a 0.04-liter shot, rum by 7 percent to CZK 75 per shot, and vodka by 4 percent to CZK 52 per shot. A half-liter of beer was up by 2.7 percent, reaching CZK 38. Soft drinks became more expensive in hotels in the second quarter as well.

No significant price fluctuations were observed for soft drinks in pubs and restaurants from July to September, with the exception of Kofola, which rose by an average of 7 percent to CZK 39 per half-liter.

Kofola is a cola-like beverage made by the Czech-Polish company Kofola S.A., and sold widely in Central Europe.

Hotels, which reopened for tourism on May 24, had a different situation. Many of them only changed price lists only during the summer season, as is typical in the sector. Popular soft drinks such as Mirinda rose to CZK 180 per liter, or 14 percent more than in the previous quarter. Coca-Cola rose by 6 percent to CZK 133 per liter, and Kofola rose by 12 percent to CZK 93.

“The relatively large price difference per liter between the Kofola brand and brands such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi (Mirinda) is due to a different supply structure and different market focus. Kofola is often served on tap or bottled and is available mainly in smaller cities. and in Moravia,” SharpGrid co-founder Martin Nepraš said.

Compared to spirits, the beer prices increased only slightly, and even decreased in the Plzeň and Zlín regions, according to SharpGrid’s analysis.

Beer was also more expensive in hotels compared to the previous quarter by an average of 10 percent, reaching CZK 45 per half-liter.

While the number of visitors to hotels in the third quarter of this year was up 41.7 percent compared to the previous year, it is still down over 53 percent compared to before the pandemic in 2019. Notably missing are foreign tourists who tend to spend more than domestic ones. Alco-tourism, which depends on visitors drinking large quantities of beverages, is also being discouraged.

Restaurants are also seeing fewer visitors, as patrons have to be vaccinated, recovered from Covid, or have a recent test. In the third quarter, only about 60 percent of adults were fully vaccinated. While in the third quarter, this was on the honor system, there had been spot checks. As of Nov. 1, restaurants have to check patron's documents. Patrons in theory anyway should wear masks when they are not eating or drinking.

SharpGrid co-founder Petr Sadílek said suppliers traditionally adjust the prices in the autumn. “At the same time, business owners will be evaluating the results of the summer season, the impact of increased operating costs on their economy, and the need for further adjustments to the offer,” Sadílek said.

“It will be interesting to see how this will affect further price developments in the HoReCa segment and whether we are in for another round of significant price increases,” Sadílek added.

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