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300 bankruptcies in a year for Brussels hotel and catering industry

07:16 29/02/2024

Success in keeping a hotel open or a restaurant afloat is getting more difficult in the capital, recent figures revreal.

In 2023, some 292 catering businesses went bankrupt, with small cafes and restaurants especially in difficulty.

Since then, the number of Brussels companies filing for bankruptcy increased by nearly half at the start of this year, compared to December 2023.

For January alone, the Brussels commercial court noted 209 bankruptcies across all business sectors.

While it is mainly shopkeepers and construction companies that are calling it a day, the Brussels hotel industry is also struggling. At the same time, the capital has seen almost no new catering entrepreneurs.

“It’s hard work for little money,” said Tim Jansens, who opened a small restaurant Bij/Chez Jansens and Jansens near Brussels-Midi station in 2020.

Janssens is no longer a business manager, but due to his passion for pots and pans, he is still in the kitchen.

Other restaurants are trying to keep their heads above water by adjusting their formulas and running their establishments with fewer staff.

Ugo Federico, head of Italian brasserie Racines, near Place Flagey in Ixelles, told Bruzz that life was becoming more difficult with the need to pay producers and suppliers.

Meanwhile with "large groups" coming to the area he warned: "Soon, there will be no more small neighbourhood restaurants."

Written by Liz Newmark