Concerns about the future

Worries about the future dominated the delegates’ meeting of the lower franconia district association (1215 member companies) of the bavarian hotel and restaurant association (BHG). If district chairman heinz stempfle, who was later confirmed in office for a further three years in a closed session, was concerned about the local gastronomy and predicted further pub deaths, guest speaker andreas huber, as leader of the german section in the club of rome, warned of the consequences of climate change and of limitless exploitation of our planet.

In his speech, which was greeted with applause, heinz stempfle said he was convinced that the decline in the number of pubs in lower franconia, which has been going on for years, will continue in the coming years – in contrast to the hotel industry with its record-breaking results. He blamed social change, the shortage of skilled workers, which is particularly worrying in the catering industry, rising costs, the associated drop in returns, and the bureaucracy imposed by the legislature, which is alien to the profession. Stempfle: "it is not the fault of the innkeepers if once popular traditional inns, successfully owned by the family for generations, are now forced to close down."

Based on the declining number of trainees, stempfle pointed out the critical situation in the catering industry: ten years ago, there were still four classes each at the vocational school in bad kissingen for prospective cooks and restaurant specialists, but now there is only one class each – despite the above-average supply of jobs in clinics and hotels in the bad kissingen region. Lack of skilled workers and inadequate returns also increasingly deterred restaurateurs from entering into risky leases. Stempfle cited as examples the unsuccessful search for a tenant for the bad kissinger ratskeller, the forsthaus klaushof and the spielbank restaurant, despite repeated invitations to tender. "Hand on heart", the BHG district chairman asked the restaurateurs in the hall: "who of you would rent a coarser restaurant or inn today??"

Few beacons

Comparable to the death of the once popular corner pubs, stempfle predicted a further death of privately run inns and guesthouses. In the future, there will be only a few "beacons of hospitality in the vast sea of fast food, snack and catering establishments", provided they are highly qualified and offer a clear distinction give. In order to prevent stempfle’s warning from becoming reality too quickly, BHG regional manager thomas geppert praised, among other things, the 30 million euro guesthouse modernization program. With this, the state government wants to support private restaurateurs in rural regions with necessary investments in the future-proof existence of their inns. "There is no question that this decrease is not enough to keep the bavarian pub culture flat", geppert also had to admit. At the same time, he appealed to the federal government to finally pass the skilled workers immigration act to make it easier for non-EU foreigners to enter the german labor market as well.

With an eye to the european elections, the BHG invited andreas huber, the managing director of the club of rome germany, a guest speaker from outside the industry. Huber urged the germans to rethink and the federal government to act immediately within the framework of the european union. Climate change must be stopped and the exploitation of the earth limited. "Things cannot go on as before."

Surprisingly, huber then managed to make a gastronomic comparison: a christmas goose has gained the confidence from the experience of being eaten every day that this will also continue in the future. "And then she is suddenly slaughtered." Therefore the humanity must act immediately in order not to suffer the same fate as the goose by a sudden end of the geological age of the anthropozan determined by the man. Led by strong member nations, the european union must make a start, huber called for a european election that would be goal-oriented in this sense.