Restaurant operators end 2022 with positive outlook, MHRA survey finds

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has presented the BOV Deloitte Restaurants performance results for the Year 2022 along with the outcome of a Diners Sentiment Analysis from across the Maltese islands sponsored by ProKitchen


The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has presented the BOV Deloitte Restaurants performance results for the Year 2022 along with the outcome of a Diners Sentiment Analysis from across the Maltese islands sponsored by ProKitchen.

Deloitte Financial Advisory Partner, Raphael Aloisio reported that the survey results show a reasonably strong rebound for all restaurant categories.

Although 73% of survey participants reported increased revenue when compared to 2021, 54% have still not yet recovered pre-covid pandemic revenue levels. In addition to the unavoidable challenges related to recovering lost revenue, most operators across the board reported significant increases in both payroll and other operational costs.

67% of respondents are expecting a more positive 2023, with the least optimistic establishments being those based in Gozo and the Southern region of Malta whilst operators in the Central region were the most positive.

“Restaurants are the cornerstone of our communities we serve, and for the hundreds of employees who come to work in our industry every day, the opportunities for a life-long career are limitless,” said MHRA President Tony Zahra.

MHRA President Tony Zahra stated that, “Now that we are facing recovery, we need to work harder to help our restaurants raise the bar in offering a holistic quality experience to diners. We also need to work hand in hand with Government to where possible keep sustaining the sector to address the extraordinary rise in costs experienced at in international level as it happened in the energy sector and continue addressing the issues related to recruitment of staff. When facing such challenges, typical operators don’t have much margin for error. With major input costs escalating, they can make changes to align with local consumer demand while realigning operations for longer term growth.”

Zahra also said that MHRA as the representative of the restaurants sector in the Maltese islands is excited to keep working with stakeholders so even more people can join our community that is committed to serving employees and guests.

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said government will continue working hand in hand with the hospitality industry to ensure the development of the country's tourism product.

This ranges from infrastructural improvements and higher levels of food handling and hygiene to a more flexible sector which adapts to the changes in the market," he said.

"The attraction of greater quantities of independent tourists has nurtured huge opportunities and increased business for the local catering industry. Therefore, we need to continue striving to induce even more expenditure and activity in this regard,” outlined in a message delivered to the restaurateurs."

A workshop was also organised for attendees by executives from the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER) who explained the law in a simplified manner and addressed case studies and specific situations. This workshop was held in collaboration with the Gozo Tourism Association and the Malta Tourism Authority.

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