European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure AT-2020-20/851 – measures in Austria

City of Vienna issues gastronomy vouchers for every household

Stadt Wien verteilt Wirtshausgutscheine

Country Austria , applies regionally

    • – AT13 Wien
Time period Temporary, 13 May 2020 – 30 September 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Measures to support a gradual relaunch of work
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 14 May 2020 (updated 10 July 2020)

Background information

As part of the public health measures, restaurants, cafes and other gastronomic establishments were obliged to stay closed between mid March to mid May. This caused severe economic strain on many companies and also the prospects for the phase to come, with an easing of restrictions, are overshadowed. As part of the gradual relaunch of public activity, gastronomic establishments may reopen from 15 May onwards, but with special obligations, such as keeping minimum distances between tables, maximum numbers of guests per table, waiters wearing masks among others. It is believed that the 'return to normal' will not be easy under such conditions, not-least as consumers are advised not to go out too often and many have faced a loss of income. Lower revenues are therefore expected in the months to come.

Content of measure

It is against this background that the city of Vienna, in collaboration with the Vienna Economic Chamber, has decided to issue vouchers, to be spent in the Viennese gastronomy. It is considered as a complementary measure to the Federal support package for the gastronomic services, and aimed to stimulate consumer demand and the appetite to go out again.

The campaign 'Vienna Gastro Voucher' will start in June, and it is envisaged to run until September 2020. All 950,000 Viennese households are going to receive a voucher by post. One-person households receive a €25 voucher, households with more people receive a voucher worth €50. The vouchers can be redeemed in Viennese restaurants, pubs and cafes participating in the scheme. Alcohol can not be purchased with the vouchers.

According to the city of Vienna, the campaign is expected to amount to €40 million euros.

Use of measure

Information from May : Use is still unknown, as the measure hasn't been rolled out yet to the 950,000 households. It will reach potentially the 6,500 businesses in the sector, employing about 60,000 workers in Vienna.

Information from 6 October 2020 : according to a press release from the city of Vienna: Vouchers worth €25 for one-person households (426,731) and €50 for multi-person households (515,452) were sent to exactly 942,183 households in Vienna in June 2020. Of the more than 940,000 vouchers issued, 781,006 were redeemed in 3,721 catering establishments such as restaurants or coffee houses, which corresponds to a value of €30.75 million or a redemption rate of 83% which is significantly higher than the redemption rate of purchased consumer vouchers.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Local / regional government
Local funds
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Consulted
Form Not applicable Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Regional or local level


The Economic chamber of Vienna (WKW) was involved in the design of the initiative.

Views and reactions

The Economic chamber of Vienna (WKW) is supportive of the initiative. No information on trade unions' views are available.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I56 Food and beverage service activities

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), City of Vienna issues gastronomy vouchers for every household, measure AT-2020-20/851 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.