Albania ranked first in the World for the number of Bars and Restaurants per inhabitant

Albania ranked first in the World for the number of Bars and Restaurants per inhabitant

Albania is generally out of the bottom for each ranking, for example, income per capita, air quality, mismanagement, business environment, and so on.

But there is a ranking where we "excel", the cafes - they are located in every corner of the capital and of Albania - based on population numbers. According to the latest INSTAT-2016 Structural Survey data, the number of bars and restaurants in Albania reached 18,795 (14,200 Bars and 3,965 Restaurants), an increase of 6.3% compared to the previous year (are opened about 1200 new bar-cafe in one year and 96 restaurants are closed).

In relation to the population of 2.87 million people, there are 654 bar-cafes per 100 thousand inhabitants in Albania, according to Monitor's calculations or 1 bar of cafe per 152 people.

Albania overpassed Spain in 2016, which has so far kept the European Union (EU) and Word record over for the highest number of bars per inhabitant, with 592 bar of coffee per 100 thousand inhabitants, or a bar-cafe to 169 residents, according to a recent EU study.

Until a year ago, Albania was ranked second in the World after Spain, but in Spain over the past four years nearly 70,000 bars and restaurants have been closed due to the crisis, according to Spanish media (Spain has 47 million inhabitants).

The opposite happened in Albania. In the four years 2013-2016, according to INSTAT data, 4,569 bar-cafes and 1,160 new restaurants have been opened, while the population is shrinking. With a crisis or no crisis, the bars continue to open, people continue to attend them, making thus foreigners to be surprised with their large number and time that Albanians spend on them especially throughout the day.

If a comparison is made again with Spain, the bars there are widespread in tourist areas, for example, in Gran Canaria, there are 547 pabes and coffee for only 23,000 residents - one for 43 persons. But in Albania are located in the middle of the city and more than half in the capital.

INSTAT reported that there are 108 thousand active businesses in Albania, and bar-restaurants account for about 17.5% of them. The total capacity of all bars and restaurants in Albania is 726 thousand places (28% in restaurants), which means that in all the bars and restaurants of the country can sit simultaneously more than a quarter of the population of the country.

The opening of bars and cafés has been an easy business alternative for anyone after the 90s. Opening a coffee bar, even below the palace, was the simplest form that many Albanians thought about making money, or just surviving. Though many go bankrupt.

In Europe, after Spain and Albania, Cyprus is also ranked at a high level of bars, with about 470 bars per 100,000 inhabitants.

In neighboring Italy, according to FIPE (Federazione Italiana Pubblici Esercizi) there are about 250 bar-cafe per 100 thousand inhabitants, or almost half of Albania. Most of the bars and restaurants are located in the center of the city, where there is a high concentration of tourists, but hard to find a bar in every corner, as it happens in Albania.

In Amsterdam there are 63.5 bars per 100 thousand inhabitants, according to Trade Association for Horeca and Catering, Berlin 36, Brussels 148.3, London 32, Istanbul 2.1, New York 32.5, Paris 27.2, Stockholm 19.1, San Paolo 133.3. The highest is in Seoul with 186.4, Tokyo 216.5, Rio De Janerio 191 etc.

In the world, bar-cafes are changing beyond traditional, to fit new customer tastes. Many are offering breakfast, fruit and vegetable juices and combined, gluten-free products, vegetarian and vegan meals, specialized gin, cocktails, craft beer, etc.

Even in Albania there are some tendencies to introduce novelty such as confectionery, or yogurt, juices and cocktails, local specialties for fresh juices, but in most cases they remain traditional, where the most consumed product is coffee, costs 60-80 cents on average, among the cheapest in Europe. 
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