Sigismund von dobschutz almost as often as their menus change, to the chagrin of restaurateurs, so do the laws that govern them. Hoteliers and restaurant operators were informed about the latest changes at the district meeting of the bavarian hotel and restaurant association (BHG) on monday in bad kissingen.
Although the number of its members “marginally increased to 119 establishments” BHG district chairman heinz stempfle (westpark-hotel, bad kissingen) also had to report a resignation: a restaurant owner from kissingen had resigned from his membership on the grounds that the industry association was not doing enough to reduce the value-added tax rate for restaurants and guesthouses to just seven percent, as has been the case for hotel services since 2010. Stempfle disagreed with this accusation and referred to a petition of the federal association dehoga “which should be signed by everyone – not only by restaurateurs”, as michael schwagerl, the district manager of lower franconia, explicitly explained.
“More china, less plastic”
Especially in times of increased environmental awareness, it makes no sense, schwagerl quoted the association’s reasoning, to tax snack foods at only seven percent, whose packaging waste ends up on the street, while food on reusable porcelain plates in restaurants is taxed at 19 percent. That’s why legislators need to rethink their approach: “more china, less plastic.” The petition is to be handed over to the petitions committee in berlin, which has a strong influence on the government and parliament, especially since the opinion on this point is not uniform in all parties, schwagerl gave the guesthouse operators some hope, despite the currently still contradictory government opinion. Kay blankenburg (SPD), the mayor of bad kissingen, had already called for a uniform reduction in the value-added tax rate to seven percent, contrary to the opinion of the federal party, in order to make it easier for restaurateurs to make necessary investments. In order to be able to maintain the required high quality in the long term, “favorable framework conditions are needed”.
The city’s world heritage application in particular requires an appropriate tourist infrastructure, blankenburg told the restaurateurs: “the unesco application is not a self-running process.” In this sense, the mayor asked the federal government “not to come up with a new regulation for the gastronomy every day” to imagine.
Managing director schwagerl was then forced to tell the BHG members about new regulations after all. All electronic cash registers must be reported to the tax office by january. “I have never had so many calls from members as this year because of disagreements with the tax office.” Therefore schwagerl recommended close cooperation with tax consultants. Since january 2019, the working hours of low-income earners must also be recorded and their hourly accounts contractually agreed, which is why schwagerl recommended: “always keep your employment contracts up to date in terms of labor law.” But there was also positive news: since october, all hotels have been allowed to fill out registration forms for overnight guests digitally as well.
In the opinion of the district manager, the online platform “topf secret,” which was recently set up by the consumer protection association foodwatch, could be a topic that would occupy the courts for years to come its. There, each consumer is allowed to ask the competent supervisory authority for the last two control reports for a host to be named. The authority is obliged to disclose, the association’s lawyer informed.
Legal situation disputed
But the dehoga is taking action to protect its members from damage to the company – for example, through uncontrollable dissemination on social networks. The legal situation is still controversial, because the first courts had ruled contradictorily. Now it’s up to the federal administrative court, but experience shows that it could take years before it reaches a decision, the BHG lawyer pointed out.
Schwagerl advised all restaurateurs to take legal action in principle against such a request if the district office is informed of it. “In the district of bad kissingen is not yet a deficiency report on a gastronomic business”, could circle chairman stempfle however the members calm down.