CrossCafe chain closes all five of its cafes in Prague, venues in other cities will remain open

The Czech-based coffee shop chain says that government compensation is not enough to keep the outlets open

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 15.02.2021 14:17 (updated on 15.02.2021)

The Czech cafe chain CrossCafe is closing all five of its Prague outlets, saying that the government compensation is not enough to keep them open. The chain still has outlets in 10 other Czech cities. Cafes and restaurants have been limited to window service or delivery as part of the measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

CrossCafe is closing two branches in Holešovice, two in Nové Město, and one in Smíchov.

“The measures taken by the Czech government for almost a year in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, which limit the normal functioning of the entire HoReCa sector, including CrossCafes, are the main reasons that led us to decide to close our five Prague cafes,” CrossCafe said in a statement on its website. HoReCa refers to hotels, restaurants, and cafes.

Restaurants and cafes were first forced to close their dining rooms on March 14, though window service and delivery was still allowed. They were allowed to re-open on May 25, but had restrictions on operating hours and occupancy. They closed again Oct. 14 and reopened again briefly on Dec. 3 before closing Dec. 18. They have been closed since.

“The capital is currently most affected by the outflow of tourists, and the absence of office workers as well as students, who are our key guests. The current development of the [COVID} situation does not indicate that in the near future the situation will change so that Prague cafes and restaurants can return to the sales levels of 2019,” CrossCafe stated.

“We must say that the support of the Czech government does not cover our costs, and therefore we are unfortunately forced, cue to the above-mentioned outlook, to make such a crucial decision,” CrossCafe added.

CrossCafe at Aňdel in Smíchov. (Photo: CrossCafe)
CrossCafe at Aňdel in Smíchov. (Photo: CrossCafe)

“We thank all our Prague customers for the favor they have given us over the years and we believe that we will meet again in better times,” CrossCafe concluded.

The government has had several support programs for businesses that were forced to stop or limit their operations, but the payments were only a fraction of the money that the businesses would have taken in. There have also been initiatives on the part of the Prague City Hall to encourage people to pick up food from local restaurants.

CrossCafe was founded in 2007 in Plzeň, West Bohemia, and,exlcuding the five Prague outlets that have closed, has 19 cafes in 10 Czech cities including Beroun, Hradec Králové, Pardubice, Olomouc, and Liberec.

According to a previous report from November, the culinary industry has been losing CZK 414 million in sales every day of closure. The loss for 2020 was estimated at up to CZK 70 billion crowns. The reopening of eateries and cafes in the summer did not compensate for the money lost in the spring closure, estimated at CZK 28.2 million.