Restaurants going under almost weekly

Aðalgeir Ásvaldsson

Aðalgeir Ásvaldsson Ljósmynd/Aðsend

More restaurants went bankrupt in 2022 than in the years marked by the pandemic and several restaurants have gone bankrupt in 2022.

“We are very concerned about bankruptcies in the industry and the situation has become increasingly difficult,” Aðalgeir Ásvaldsson, CEO of the Icelandic Association of Enterprise in the Restaurant Industry (SVEIT), told mbl.is.

He says that restaurants go bankrupt almost every week.

Wages half of restaurants’ turnover

Ásvaldsson says the biggest reason is the high interest rates, a decrease in tourist numbers, and changes in consumer consumption.

Furthermore, food prices have risen, rent on housing has risen, and wages of employees have risen. He says that wages account for about half of all restaurant turnover.

Restaurant employees have repeatedly raised concerns about the operating environment of restaurants.

The Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA) has created a difficult working environment

Ásvaldsson relates the status of the industry to wage contracts that the industry has received.

“It’s extremely difficult to operate in this work environment created by SA and the trade unions. We don’t get any involvement in the negotiation of wage agreements, which is very sad.”

He adds that SVEIT has tried to reach the negotiation table to give restaurant owners a voice, but says that there is no willingness to do so.

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