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Insights after Lockdown: Germany

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be speaking to industry friends from all over the world about what hospitality life looks like where they are – sharing insights and different approaches to our members for support and guidance. ​

This week, we get some help from our very own Jan “Fossi” Forsberg - Maker’s Mark Diplomat in Germany; Christian Haller from Marmion, Frankfurt; Leo Sommerfeld from Schumann’s Les Fleurs du Mal, Munich; and Tim Mayer from Jigger & Spoon, Stuttgart. ​

Germany reacted quickly in the early days of the virus, resulting in a shorter lockdown and fewer casualties; however, many restrictions are still in place to control the spread of Coronavirus. ​

Currently, all bars and restaurants are open, though clubs remain closed, with no confirmed opening date. As recently as last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that large events such as festivals will be banned until the end of the year due to a rise in cases.​

Within the hospitality industry, all bartenders have to wear a mask at all times, and guests must wear a mask when entering a bar or using the bathrooms. Similar to many other countries coming out of lockdown, there must be 1.5m between tables and no more than 10 people per group. When entering a venue, each person has to register with a name, address and number so they can be contacted if someone tests positive. 

Individual venues are adapting in different ways. As with the UK and Australia, cocktail delivery kits have been popular and many businesses continue to offer them. There are plexiglass walls between tables to offer added safety and peace of mind along with the provision of hand sanitiser. 

The next 12 months:

For many, staying positive can be tough in the midst of a pandemic. For Christian Haller from Marmion in Frankfurt, things have changed dramatically for his bar. Situated within a hotel, trying to have the same atmosphere as before lockdown has been impossible. Christian and his team are now concentrating on creating a nice experience for all guests, but, unsurprisingly, “with everyone wearing masks, it’s hard to enjoy a night without thinking about the virus.” 

Leo Sommerfeld from Schumann’s Les Fleur du Mal, Munich, thinks winter will be difficult for the team. They currently have a terrace which is perfect for summer, but he fears the mood will change when guests have to sit inside, even though they have a number of safety measures for their customers. “Munich is an international city and guests thrived off the atmosphere this brought but there’s currently less than half of the usual tourist numbers visiting,” says Leo.​

Tim Mayer from Jigger & Spoon, Stuttgart, is hoping the pandemic will have a positive influence long term. “People are taking better care of each other, and if we can keep going like we are, we can manage the crisis and maybe everyone can come out of it with a better understanding of our world and the people who live in it.” 

In recent news which should bring some positivity to the industry, the German’s ruling coalition has agreed to extend its job support package until the end of next year. The initiative allows employers to reduce workers' hours but keep them on its books.​

The industry in Germany, and across the world, is watching closely whilst the virus is still so volatile and changing so rapidly, but for hospitality, there’s overwhelming support between one and another and the hope it will get back to where it once was.