Belgian Restaurant Chain Asks For €1 Per Head To Help Pay Energy Bills

By Dave Simpson
Belgian Restaurant Chain Asks For €1 Per Head To Help Pay Energy Bills

A Belgian restaurant owner is asking customers to pay one euro per head towards his spiralling energy costs, saying the cost of living crisis is a matter of life or death for his business.


Michel De Bloos, whose Sabai Sabai group operates 20 Asian restaurants including in Brussels, said that with an extra €100,000 a month in bills and with 100,000 diners on average over the same period, he could cover his costs with a temporary surcharge.

"The idea was to ask the people to help us to survive, to be there after the crisis," he told Reuters from the kitchen of Thai Cafe.

Whereas others have chosen to put up prices permanently, De Bloos said he had opted for a temporary energy contribution which would end once the crisis is over.

Customers find a pamphlet on each table explaining the situation to try and help convince them, but one of them, 35-year-old actor and playwright Jerome Hauptman said times were tough for everyone.


"It's complicated for us too. So the government has to support us at the same time otherwise it's unfair if only the customer bears the burden of all these crises," he said.

De Bloos said the vast majority of customers had been supportive.

"A Question Of Being Dead Or Alive"

"It's a question of being dead or alive at the end of the crisis. But if the people don't want to pay we don't argue on that," he said.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.