The price of draught beer in Czech pubs, restaurants, and bars has significantly increased, with an average rise of ten percent year-on-year in mid-January. The price hike between December and January alone saw an average four percent increase, equating to more than two crowns. This data was derived from an analysis by Dotykačka, a company that monitors data from cash register systems.
Customers paid an average of 57.80 crowns for half a liter of beer in mid-January. In city restaurants, the average price was 69.20 crowns, while in villages, it was significantly lower at 49.10 crowns. More than a third of businesses did not change their beer prices from the start of the year, while a fifth increased their prices significantly by six or more crowns.
In January, restaurants’ VAT rate for draught beer changed from 10 to 21 percent. The rate also increased for non-alcoholic beverages. According to the analysis, homemade lemonades in pubs increased by twelve percent annually and coffee by eight percent. Some businesses adjusted their prices in advance and did not wait for the turn of the year.
Tough times seem to be ahead for bars. Last spring, businesses were rubbing their hands in glee. The sales figures for the first few months were higher than expected and promised a solid start to the summer season. However, this did not materialize, and the slump was evident by the end of the year.
The decline in the nightlife-oriented businesses is concerning, with clubs and discos seeing a thirteen percent year-on-year decrease in sales. Initially, this was thought to be a temporary effect of the pandemic. However, the annual figures suggest a long-term trend, with customers shifting their preferences and spending their time differently than before. They are increasingly opting for afternoon drinks in cafes over late-night outings, and overall, alcohol consumption is down.