Bulgaria: Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Food Service
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Bulgaria’s hotel, restaurant, and institutional (HRI) foodservice industry grew year-on-year by early 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic severely hit the industry and food service sales dropped significantly in 2020 and in early 2021. In 2021, despite some remaining anti-COVID measures, after a strong summer tourist season, the HRI sector started to rebound and registered up to 25 percent growth in certain categories over 2020. However, the levels are still lower than before the pandemic. FAS Sofia expects the industry to fully recover by the end of 2024, depending on the course of new challenges such as high inflation, the war in Ukraine, high energy prices, political instability, as well as the revival of tourism and steadiness of the domestic economy.