Start-up spirit rising

The mood in the hotel and catering industries in 2015 has again improved compared to the previous year, and the majority of surveyed business owners are satisfied. The chief motive of the proprietors in starting their own businesses is to work independently and achieve success. Obstacles include personnel issues, bureaucracy, the tax burden – and the minimum wage.

The satisfaction in running a business

Satisfaction is growing among food service start-ups. Whereas 77 per cent of entrepreneurs in the industry were satisfied or even very satisfied with their situation in 2014, this value rose again by 3 per cent in 2015. Among larger businesses with eleven or more employees, satisfaction is even slightly higher. Caterers are the happiest, at 88 per cent, and takeaway operators are the least satisfied in relative terms, at 70 per cent.

What makes entrepreneurs happy? Above all, economic success. Satisfaction grows as company size and annual turnover increase. In businesses with more than eleven employees, 86 per cent of surveyed owners are happy, while in companies with fewer than six employees the rate is just 75 per cent. Where annual sales exceed €500,000, the rate of satisfaction climbs to 92 per cent.

Economic worries cast a shadow

Accordingly, the most important factor in entrepreneurial happiness is the company’s financial situation. But idealistic factors such as exercising responsibility, the passion for running one’s own business, and outside recognition also influence business owners’ personal feeling of satisfaction. The greatest source of dissatisfaction for entrepreneurs is economic worry. Almost half of those surveyed, 48 per cent, name financial insecurity as a palpable burden, a slight rise (3 per cent) from the 2014 level. The prevalence of fears about their company’s existence, which affect more than one third of business owners, showed a similar increase, rising by 2 percentage points over the previous year.


What makes you satisfied and what makes you dissatisfied?

What makes founders satisfied or dissatisfied

What makes you satisfied and what makes you dissatisfied?

Start-up motivation

Two factors are especially crucial in the decision to start one’s own business: the pursuit of career success (80 per cent) and independence (81 per cent). In the hotel industry, 69 per cent additionally seek to continue a family tradition. One out of every three company founders wants to implement a new business idea.

Caterers, in particular, are open to new ventures: 88 per cent of those surveyed want to achieve something of their own, 59 per cent seek to fill a niche in the market or implement a new business idea, and 47 per cent wish to be involved in setting a trend. It comes as little surprise, then, that 94 per cent of independent caterers value the freedom to innovate above all. However, over three quarters of entrepreneurs in the remaining categories also share this attitude.

Business founders love responsibility

Moreover, the vast majority prize being their own boss: 95 per cent, or nearly all surveyed business owners, see the personal responsibility they bear as a positive factor. Additionally, 83 per cent like to work creatively and 81 per cent value the creative freedom that comes with running one’s own business. Beyond this, a large percentage – 91 per cent – enjoy dealing with people in their work.

What do you perceive as positive in connection with your self-employment?

Personnel concerns

Nevertheless, life as a business founder is not perfect. The majority struggle with an increasing lack of qualified staff. Of those surveyed, 87 per cent have difficulty finding suitable personnel, or 8 per cent more than last year. Among food service providers, 93 per cent assess the current development as especially critical, as compared with just 65 per cent of caterers.

At 79 per cent, even more entrepreneurs complain of bureaucratic hurdles and commercial regulations than in the previous year (70 per cent). This is the case especially in the hotel industry, where such dissatisfaction rose 14 percentage points, to 87 per cent. For almost one out of every two business owners surveyed, a further factor inhibiting the venture into self-employment is the legal minimum wage.

Additionally, 78 per cent of those surveyed complain of the tax burden. This represents an increase over 2014 among operators of restaurants, hotels and takeaways, but a slight decrease among proprietors of cafés and catering companies.

What difficulties do you see in connection with your self-employment?

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