Expensive energy will keep outdoor “mushrooms” off – Complaints about the low electricity subsidy as well.
With energy costs skyrocketing for restaurants, owners are particularly concerned and worried about the coming winter as a large number of their customers choose to sit outside either due to smoking or fear of viruses and the coronavirus. places.
Although for years – especially after the implementation of the anti-smoking law – the owners of the catering establishments had taken care to procure various heaters – which work either with the use of electricity, natural gas, or liquid gas – to heat the outdoor areas, now more and more seem determined not to operate them, as the costs are high.
The owner of a cafe-bar in the center of Thessaloniki specifically told voria.gr that in his outdoor space he maintains five heaters, the so-called “mushrooms”, that operate with LPG bottles and this year he will buy each bottle for 27 euros. “Each bottle lasts about a day, but not to keep it open all the time, but to close it several times. So you understand I need 135 euros every day for the five gas bottles and the month 4,000 euros. Only for the gas bottles,” he said, adding that at the same time he needs another 4,000 euros a month for the electricity bill.
The same businessman said that for the time being he avoids lighting the “mushrooms” in the evenings, while he has put blankets on the seats so that customers who may catch a cold can use them.
Speaking to Voria.gr, the general secretary of the Association of Grill Restaurants and Coffee Bars of Thessaloniki, Michalis Epitropidis, said that the situation is extremely difficult as “most of them work outside, since many of those who go out for fun at night are smokers and therefore choose the outdoor spaces for them to sit’.
“This winter will be very difficult. Coffee shop owners have provided blankets for legs and backs and many have said they will not turn on heaters outside to encourage customers to sit inside and only go outside to smoke,” he said.
Mr. Epitropides also mentioned that the subsidy given by the state for electricity is low, explaining that “209 euros are given per kilowatt-hour for those below 2,000 kilowatt-hours, while all the focus is above them.”
“So there is no help from the state for us catering professionals. We consume the 2,000 kilowatt hours in one week. Once again they leave us at the mercy of God” concluded Mr. Epitropidis.
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