The study summarizes the central results of two surveys in the field of (fine dining) restaurants, which took place during the shutdown of restaurants due to the corona pandemic (Corona Shutdown) between 22 March and 10 April 2020. A total of 654 people took part in the survey who work in the catering trade as cooks (n = 289), service staff (n = 136) and restaurant owners (n = 125). Guests (n = 104) also participated in the survey. The central results are as follows: 50% of the restaurants in our survey can survive for a maximum of 6 weeks if the corona shutdown is maintained. On average, the maximum is 9 weeks. Respondents from restaurants that do not have a Michelin star rating estimate that they can only survive the Corona Shutdown for 8 weeks. Respondents from Michelin-starred restaurants estimate this to be 11 weeks, so that they can survive an average of almost 2 weeks more when shut down. In concrete terms, this means that if the corona shutdown continues, a large proportion of the restaurants will experience liquidity problems at the beginning of May, which will force them to give up their restaurant. The effect of the political support activities that have been initiated is viewed very critically by employees in the field of (fine dining) restaurants. According to the assessment of the respondents, the survival of many restaurants cannot be secured by these support activities in the long term.Across all groups of employees, the short-time work compensation (Kurzarbeitergeld) is dominant. Service staff are particularly affected, accounting for 65% of the workforce, as opposed to 56% of cooks.
At 12%, service employees are currently more frequently unemployed than the cooks surveyed. Overall, the financial situation in gastronomy is particularly precarious because the short-time work compensation not only reduces income, as employers often do not top up the full salary, but also eliminates additional income in the form of bonuses and tips. Communication with the guests is maintained via various digital channels, which the guests also use. Guests make use of the newly created offers, such as take-away or delivery service, to provide local support to the restaurateurs. Compared to the other groups of employees, the chefs are generally best able to deal with the Corona shutdown personally. They have various possibilities to make the situation more bearable (e.g. charity campaigns). The overall perception of stress is very high. In a group comparison, chefs have the lowest stress perception and the highest resilience. Especially the participation of some cooks in charity campaigns (e.g. "Cooking for Heroes") lowers their stress perception and increases their resilience.