As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, although the City of Zagreb announced the tender for Advent in Zagreb 2022 this summer, it will have to be repeated for certain city locations. The reason for the repetition, according to the city administration, is the non-fulfillment of the conditions that Zagreb does insist on. This year, unlike last year, festive cottages will be returning to Zrinjevac, and Advent in Zagreb in general will be spreading further out to the city’s neighbourhoods, according to a report from HRT.
After the City of Zagreb changed the tender conditions for Advent in Zagreb, the interest of restaurant owners and various craft owners seems to be less than expected. Out of 32 locations, 25 were leased through bidding, and now another new round of bidding will follow for the remaining seven.
“The offers that came in for those locations didn’t really match. None of them corresponded to the formal conditions of the tender when we talk about occasional sales and catering in the so-called bidding model of auctions,” explained Tomislav Tomasevic, Mayor of Zagreb. Craft owners are also outraged, as they claim that entry into the Advent in Zagreb tender for this year costs a minimum of 3,000 kuna. Even if that sum is paid, it isn’t any sort of guarantee of success. In order to seriously compete, the price goes up to 20,000 kuna, a sum far too much for most craft owners.
“It’s a tender in which we didn’t have any right of precedence, but it was open to everyone and our colleagues had to offer quite high prices in order to get to their positions for which they’ve already been recognised for years,” said Antun Trojnar, vice president of the Zagreb Chamber of Crafts.
Bidding for the eight locations on the main square under the clock is a real roulette for most artisans. Besides having to spend money on the actual bidding, they also need it for production. When all is said and done, such a move is actually unprofitable for the vast majority. Restaurateurs are also being very careful. A weaker interest may also lie in the fact that this year many facilities will celebrate Advent in Zagreb on their own terraces.
“It’s certain that this autumn and winter bring a certain amount of fear for restaurateurs due to the overall economic situation and the energy crisis we’re currently in, not to mention the potential lack of manpower,” said Ivan Tadic, secretary of the Zagreb Restaurateurs Association. That said, they do welcome the fact that the festive cottages are returning to Zrinjevac and King Tomislav Square, and this, they say, is the direction in which the capital should continue to go.
“When Advent in Zagreb was organised, it accounted for almost one-fifth of the total turnover in the hospitality industry that year,” Tadic pointed out.
For the first time this year, Advent in Zagreb is expanding outside of the boundaries of the city centre, but even there, the level of interest is half-hearted. Out of ten different locations, the tender is going to need to be repeated for five of them.
Last year, Advent in Zagreb was held in a different atmosphere which was still dominated by the general fears of the public health situation and lockdowns. Some liked it, some didn’t. This year, the city administration has claimed, will certainly be different.
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