From 2024, the 19% VAT rate will return to restaurant meals, leading to further price increases. The German Food, Beverage and Catering Trade Union (NGG) does not expect a wave of bankruptcies, although they consider the price increases unfair. According to the NGG, other factors besides the tax increase are also playing a role in the price increase, such as energy prices and inflation. The government had hoped that restaurateurs would not immediately pass on the new costs to their customers, but prices have risen significantly over the past two years. Our partner association Dehoga has campaigned against the VAT increase, but unfortunately without success. If restaurants pass on the tax adjustment to consumers, the prices on their menus will rise by 11.2%. The NGG stresses that good service must be in line with wages and quality ingredients.

Catering businesses in Frankfurt explain the price increases due to the VAT hike. From 1 January 2024, the higher VAT rate of 19% will again apply to food in the catering sector. Initiative Gastronomie Frankfurt (IGF) is producing cards to make the price changes resulting from the VAT increase transparent and to inform its customers. Businesses need to adjust their prices due to increased costs, as the increase in VAT to 19% will hit many businesses hard economically. The IGF would like to show how much of the selling price of food is passed on to the tax office and how other costs such as staff, purchasing and rental costs are affected. The aim is to understand how much profit is left before income tax is deducted. The IGF also stresses that each company should individually rethink its own pricing calculations, taking into account changing consumer behaviour and the uncertain impact on restaurant visits. Methods used in the sector include reducing staff, rationalising the use of goods and shortening opening hours. The IGF urges member companies to continue to look for saving opportunities and to calculate accurately.

There is another VAT idea: Astrid Hamker, chair of the Ludwig Erhard-founded CDU Economic Council, is calling for VAT on school and kindergarten meals to be removed completely in the future.