The occupancy rate at restaurants during Ramadan increased by 20 percent compared to last year. The chairman of the Association of All Restaurants and Suppliers (TÜRES), Ramazan Bingöl, stated that the Muslim holiday has turned out well for restaurant owners this year.
Restaurants in Istanbul saw high occupancy during Ramadan. While most of the restaurants served only during iftar and sahur, the fast-breaking meal and pre-dawn meal to start fasting respectively -- there was an increase in occupancy rates compared to last year's Ramadan.
Bingöl expressed pleasure in the fact that Ramadan has turned out to be lucrative for the sector this year. This figure, he opined, demonstrates that people's lives have returned to normal after a tumultuous year.
Expressing that the sector was negatively affected by the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, Bingöl said, "We are in a way better shape than last year's Ramadan. Our occupancy rates are very high. Our only problem was the rainy weather, but generally it was fine."
Meal tickets to be boycotted after Ramadan holidayCriticizing the commission imposed by the lunch vouchers that have become common complaints of restaurant owners in the recent period, Bingöl said that the restaurant owners are going to boycott lunch vouchers for one day after the Ramadan holiday, also known as Eid al-Fitr.
"At TÜRES, we were struggling with this situation for a long time and we have made some progress. We held a meeting with Minister of Customs and Trade Bülent Tüfenkçi and Istanbul Chamber of Commerce(ITO) Chair İbrahim Çağlar and we proposed our solutions," he said.
He said that the Board of Competition also filed a suit and added that the association is awaiting an answer from the ministry.
The TÜRES chair noted that restaurant owners have to give 40 percent of their profits to these companies, highlighting that lunch card companies have to reduce their commissions.
Bingöl pointed out that these same brands charge 9-10 percent commission in Turkey, compared to only 2-3 percent in European countries. The restaurants were previously able to get the payment in return for their service within 15 days. Since the beginning of the year, however, the term of maturity has been increased to 30 days and in some cases even up to 60 days, he explained.