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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case 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
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to get back to normal
– Measures to support a gradual relaunch of work
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Case created 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

Involvement

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.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), City of Vienna issues gastronomy vouchers for every household, case AT-2020-20/851 (measures in Austria), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

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