Coburger tor, jagersruh, leuchtturm or goldene au. This list could be continued even further. There are inns and taverns that have ceased to operate in neustadt in recent years and months. But: "to speak of a massive decline in gastronomy is wrong. In some regions, including ours, the traditional pub and its cultural aspect are disappearing, but the bare figures say otherwise", says at least martin stingl (SPD), third mayor of neustadt and responsible for culture, sports and tourism.
The closure of a number of large and well-known businesses in his city are facts that even stingl and his colleague sandra franz from the economic demand do not deny. "Inns, such as the coburger tor or the jagersruh, are naturally present in the townscape. The closure of such localities attracts people's attention, but also creates a distorted image", says stingl.
He sees a cause for the change in the gastronomy landscape in the changed consumption behavior of people. Stingl includes all licensed businesses in his argumentation. Three years ago there were about 120. "But there are also doner stores and inns in garden settlements", says stingl.
But the inns have competition not only from fast food, but also from the bakery or butcher store around the corner, which offer hot meals at tables. "If you include all of these businesses in the gastronomy sector, then neustadt is better than average", says the cultural mayor.
According to stingl and franz, the direct proximity to neighboring thuringia also seems to play a role in the gastronomy sector play. "Many prefer to hold their private events in sonneberg because it is supposedly more favorable there and the protection of non-smokers is less strict", says stingl. In fact, in thuringia there are different rules for the protection of smokers.
Another problem with the vacant traditional houses is the ownership situation. Sandra franz explains: "the properties are privately owned, so there's not much the city can do. The owners determine the price for a possible sale. But it is of course important to the city to do something about the vacancy."
Decrease in bus travel
Martin Stingl knows from his own experience that the traditional pub can survive. Because his wife is the owner of the eckstein inn in the heart of neustadt. "As the husband of an innkeeper, one is also an innkeeper", says stingl. His wife's restaurant offers not only events but also a hall and a catering service. "We are highly satisfied with our own business development, but there is no golden road to take. All pubs are fighting for survival", says stingl.
He emphasizes that there are other restaurants in the neustadt region that have good business ideas. "The lindenhof in ketschenbach also has a party service and its loafers. Some have recognized the change and others have misjudged it", says stingl.
Business leader sandra franz adds another point to the discussion: tourism. "Cities and regions that are dependent on foreign traffic sometimes have a more serious problem with vacancies", says franz. It is widely known that neustadt is not a tourist center. Again, several factors come together. For example, kulturburgermeister stingl cites the decline in bus tours stopping off at inns and the lack of landscape tourism as two factors that have a negative impact on gastronomy.
Considering the changes in consumer behavior, the increased competition and the many other factors that contribute to shaping the gastronomic landscape, change is perhaps a better term than decline. Depending on the interpretation of the gastronomy concept, a very different picture emerges.
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