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As an impact of the lifted restrictions and the open borders, the volume of domestic tourism increased in June compared to May, but this is still only a fraction of the previous year’s turnover.

In Hungary, the situation is more favorable than in several foreign countries, however the decrease in restaurants’ turnover rates is quite palpable. According to KSH, the revenues of commercial restaurants came in at HUF 54 billion (EUR 154 million) in May, which is less than half of what was calculated a year earlier, and the decline was even greater in the case of workplace catering. 

Although KSH does not disclose a territorial distribution, it is quite clear that there are serious differences in current and prospective business, both geographically and between different restaurant categories.

In Budapest, May was much weaker than in the rest of the country, after which restrictions were lifted two weeks later in the capital, and restaurants and pubs could only open in the middle of the month.

However, several restaurants did not open as there was no chance they could generate substantial traffic, and reopening would have seen more financial loss than remaining closed altogether.

In rural areas, especially in popular tourist centers (e.g: Balaton), the situation is a bit better than in Budapest. It is common that rural restaurants have a full house on the weekends, however there are fewer customers on weekdays, thus some restaurants in these places are not even open every weekday.

Due to significant expenses and the extremely high level of uncertainty, it is not surprising that restaurants employ only the most necessary staff, and owners are trying to save on wages. Although there wasn’t another wave of redundancies in May as in the previous period, the largest companies still laid off hundreds of people.

Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI.