Everything is getting more expensive and you also need a big wallet for an evening out at the pub. Prices keep going up and the time you paid less than three euros for your beer is gone. But not in Odin. Because at Café De Nachtegaal, prices will drop from January 1st. “We went to look across the border,” says the company’s owner, Anke Wijdeven.
At the café in Uden, they’ve been serving Heineken beers for thirty years, but this brewer has raised prices twice this year. When Heineken announced that another major price increase was in the works after the end of the year, now over ten percent, they saw no other way out but to switch to another brand.
In the end, the choice fell on the German beer Zachte Premium. “It’s brewed in Allersheim,” Anke says. “It’s not the most famous brand, but it was the best price-quality beer. And it has almost the same taste as Heineken.”
Although they have to pay a 9 percent import duty on drinks from abroad, beer is still much cheaper. As a result, De Nachtegaal’s clients will pay significantly less than next year. “The price of a beer with us now is €2.75, but that will soon be €2.25,” says Anke. That’s a fifty cent difference. “Compared to what it cost in other cafes in the New Year, we’re close to a euro difference.”
“If we had to pass all of that on to the customer, you’d pay 3.45 for a beer.”
“It’s not just about the price of beer, but also energy prices and wage increases,” explains Anke. “If we have to pass all that on to the customer, a simple night out becomes a luxury. Then you pay 3.45 for a beer.”
Anke and her husband, Johan, went in search of another beer brand, but they didn’t quite make it in the Netherlands. That is why they went to search in Belgium and Germany. We first researched beer types and prices at breweries. Then we went looking for catering establishments that had this faucet. And we did a lot of tastings.”
“The hospitality industry must remain affordable and I think we will succeed.”
The café has no agreements with brewers, which makes it easy to switch to another brand. This does not apply to every coffee shop, as they often rent premises from a brewery. Still, Anck hopes more catering entrepreneurs will follow suit. “I think it’s important for people to keep going out, because social connections are so important. The hospitality industry has to stay accessible to everyone and I think we’re going to make it work.”
From midnight on December 31st, the pub in Uden will be serving the new, cheaper beer. It remains to be seen if customers will taste the difference. “We’ve already told them and they’re very curious about the quality,” says Anke. “In terms of price reduction, they are definitely very excited.”
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