This Dutchman should lead his three companies through Brexit

This Dutchman should lead his three companies through Brexit

Van der Pitt is full of London’s hospitality industry. He arranges employees for cafes and bars, and has been importing his own brand of gin for a few years now. Last year, just before the Corona crisis, Dutch craft beer was added (think beer from Ht Uiltje and ‘t IJ).

For all three companies, it will be tough to manage things properly after December 31, 2020, he says. “You notice that there is uncertainty in the market. Many trading parties find it difficult to regulate everything. And also because it is not entirely clear what you should regulate for both sides, ie the UK and the EU, in terms of paperwork and permits.”

List the laundry with sheets

As an importer of beer and spirits, Van der Peet hasn’t learned much from all the certifications, regulations, and websites it must own or plow in order to continue the trade. He says it has become a huge paper operation. “We are in the process of obtaining new import licenses, and we are looking forward to that further.”

To be on the safe side, they have a large shipment of Dutch beer in December, which is enough for the first quarter.

Extra papers, extra costs

What is clear is that Brexit is causing him a lot of administrative trouble because of the drink. “Either you have to submit an application that you are a certified economic operator yourself, or you need an agency as a middleman. Your products must be registered at the border and you have to pay import duties. One typo and stuck, it can be in the process.”

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Left or right, all the extra sheets also cost him extra money. Partly for this reason, he still manages the import of beer himself, along with the owners of the company’s three other directors. “I have an idea that some things will be adjusted in the near future. Then it would be a shame if procedures are changed now and people are hired for that and then we have to do everything again months later.”

Less margin

He says the volume of sales that Van der Peet gets from beer and gin imports will be hurt anyway by Brexit, because selling European products in the UK will become more expensive. “Either you choose as an entrepreneur to pass the costs, or make your product more expensive, or bear those costs yourself, so that you have less sales.”

He adds that there is a difference that there is a lot of money in London. “And it has become a rule of thumb to participate here. You should expect to have less margin.”

Threatening big fine

For Mise en Place – the third company and the reason for moving to London in 2016 – things have changed again. Van der Piet thinks the recruitment agency for catering staff would be upset by the fact that far fewer international students will come to London.

“Students from within and outside the European Union now need a visa. This stipulates, among other things, that they are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week in addition to their studies. If you do, you will be expelled from the country and pay a heavy fine as an employer.” Of course, a student can have many clients, especially in the hospitality industry, and then it is up to you as an employer to track whether that person actually worked 20 hours. ”

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He predicts that other sectors in which many non-British people work, such as healthcare and construction, will also face massive staff shortages. “Certainly in the hospitality industry, when coronavirus restrictions will be lifted soon.”

The calculation is done quickly

This is partly because the British themselves may not yearn for a later time Selection Tapping the table or serving scones. “In the Netherlands, but also in Italy and France, the hospitality industry is a real profession, as you can still do well at a later age. Here it is seen as a job that you only do when you’re studying or if you really can’t do anything else.” .

In addition, the exchange rate depreciation plays a role. At the time of writing, the British pound is valued at around € 1.18. “That was 1.45,” says Van Der Peet. “For Eastern Europeans who came here to earn a good income, this is no longer working. In countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, wages for their work are higher and the cost of living is lower. Then the calculation is done quickly.”

He sees Brexit as a positive thing for catering staff. If there were staff shortages, British catering companies would have to pay fairer wages. Treat. With scarcity you have more bargaining power. Maybe then the bartenders could finally live in London and not just work. ”

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