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Eat take-out food (well, maybe not)
1000 ways to improve our lives / No. 52
Hello from Berlin,
I love going to coffee shops and restaurants (like the Viennese coffee house I was last month and took the photo above). To be served, reading the newspaper when alone, or chatting with friends on a social evening. I always have a good time there.
Therefore, it annoys me a bit that many countries treat restaurants differently depending on how they serve their food. When they sell takeaway food, businesses often only have to pay a reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) rate. The full VAT is due if they serve the same food inside their location.
As a result, it is less attractive for restaurants to ask people to linger since it is more expensive in two respects: space and staff must be provided, plus the state demands more taxes (here, you’ll find the different VAT and reduced VAT rates for all European countries).
I believe that the boom in home ordering is due to differences in tax rates. From the difference, you can pay a bicycle courier.
Suppose the VAT is 19 per cent and the reduced VAT is 7 per cent. If you eat in-house for 40 euro, the restaurant must pay 6.39 euro in taxes. If you order takeaway for the same amount, they only have to pay 2.62 euro in taxes. In other words: With to-go, the restaurant has 3.77 euros more in the register (or can pay bicycle couriers to distribute their food).
The Upshot: Everyone who likes to eat at home or who picks up the food themselves benefits from the different tax rates. In the first case, because there are often no extra costs for the delivery (because the delivery services live on the tax difference). In the second case, because there is often a "discount" when you pick up the food yourself (which isn't exactly a discount if the food provider only passes on the tax advantage to the customer).
In the meantime, I'm sitting in the restaurant, looking a little enviously at passing self-collectors and saying to myself: There are worse things in life.