the coronavirus crisis requires a great deal of adaptability on the part of entrepreneurs. The hospitality entrepreneur Dick Groeneweg opened his tropical party café in Hellevoetsluis a year ago, on the eve of the coronacrisis. After three weeks of partying, he was able to close the doors of Party Café Overboard again. "contrary to what many people think, I have no right to government support", says Groeneweg. "As a start-up, you cannot apply for compensation for, for example, the fixed costs of your company and personnel costs."When he opened his tent in early February 2020, he planned to recruit permanent staff. "Fortunately, it has not come to that. Because I only work with freelancers, I have been able to reduce the costs somewhat."< p> Groeneweg considers public support for start-ups to be poor. "I am also a catering establishment, just like my colleagues here in the region. I've got all my permits in order, signed the leases. It's obvious I'm running a restaurant business. Start-ups would be easier to defraud if they claim support, I hear on television. I find that an annoying stamp, as if you were fraudulent as a starter. It reminds me of the strike deal. First they're fraudsters, then they're good people.“
" insurance, alarm, the camera system, energy costs: you can't escape that and you can't just stop it."
the relaxations for the catering industry, that does not help Groeneweg much. "We must have it above all from the night. We are going to open the terrace, but there we have only room for a few tables. In addition, you are also extremely dependent on the weather," he explains. "But of course, every little bit helps."during the past year Groeneweg has been able to reduce costs by making good agreements with its landlords and suppliers. "At one of the two landlords I was able to pause the rent for the property. Furthermore, orders from most suppliers could be stopped. Of course, that makes a huge difference."However, certain costs remain. "Insurance, alarm, the camera system, the energy costs: you can't escape that and you can't just stop it. Especially because of the area of the cafe it costs a lot per month."Regional products for sale
to get through the summer well Groeneweg has started a crowdfunding for his Tropical café. "With 7,500 euros we can make it through september. Around that time I expect to be able to open again", he thinks. "Then I hear from more hospitality entrepreneurs from my area. In that respect, I am hopeful."On the other hand, crowdfunding is not running as expected. "I think that's because we're not the only ones trying to close the gaps through crowdfunding."the crisis does make Groeneweg creative. "Sitting still makes me unhappy. At some point, the walls will come at you. So I've been asking myself the question over the last few months: what is possible? I've had a lot of square meters left unused in the last few months. That's why I started working with local farmers and growers. I now sell regional products, like tulips and smoked fish. I like to keep busy like this."
" I have confidence in myself, but I am afraid, for example, that a landlord will be completely done with it at some point."
" of myself I am a go-getter. In addition, I don't like to sit still", says the catering entrepreneur. Still, he's a little nervous about the future. "I have confidence in myself, but I am afraid, for example, that a landlord will be completely done with it at some point. I see more and more that others are running out of cake as well."
the heartwarming reactions of his guests keep Groeneweg going. "I can really appreciate the fact that people order a bottle of alcohol with their food, when they wouldn't normally do that. Yesterday, someone wrote to me that he had ordered a bitter set from us with his last money. That humbles me and I like to hear it."