In the disco it happened, of all places. Marion from the castell district of wustenfelden met friedhelm neubauer from wiesenbronn. Back then, almost 30 years ago, the course was set for marion’s future as a hostess in the "schwarzer adler" country hotel and wine inn put.
Following her apprenticeship as a butcher, marion trained to become a hotel manageress. "I never minded working weekends", says the 44 year old with a happy smile. "I love my job." But over the years, unfortunately, it has become harder rather than easier: "the death of the pub has its reasons."
Every third village in bavaria no longer has an economy. Tendency increasing. "A village guesthouse has a hard time today", explains marion neubauer. Go-cart parties, bar tables – everything that used to fill the rooms well is dying out. "15 or 20 years ago the pub culture was quite different." Just sitting together, talking, eating something "that doesn’t exist in that form anymore".
"It used to be more personal, 80-year-old senior boss heinrich neubauer is sure of it. "One has known most of the guests. Today we have a more diversified audience." But that is also a good thing. The "heiner, as he is called by everyone, female: "only from the income from the village one could not exist." Tourists and overnight guests are essential for survival.
His daughter-in-law marion nods. "We may not be dictated to by a foreign boss, but we are dictated to by the geschaft." You have to adapt to changing customer needs. Not least for this reason, she and friedhelm decided a few years ago to renovate and expand the guest rooms and rooms, which will burden them financially for a long time. "Nevertheless, we believe that this was the right way to be fit for the future."
The running costs of an inn, such as energy and personnel, also determine its fate. "It doesn’t matter if there are two guests, 20 or 200: we have to pay for heating, light, cooking and service staff hour for hour." There are no rough profit possibilities. " And you can’t count your own hours", marion neubauer clarifies.
Better a secure office job?
Many young people who could take over an inn are deterred by all this. "They don’t want to take such risks and prefer to do an office job where they can be sure of getting their money every month", says heiner neubauer. In addition, there is the fact that bureaucracy has multiplied: "whereas an entry in the book used to be enough, today you have to email back and forth x times and then still change something, woman marion. "You have to be online all the time. There is no other way."
Their father-in-law gives another reason why the pub trade is not very attractive to young people: "we have a six-day week, and our business always really gets going when other people go home for the holidays." Marion confirms "that one already lacks a lot". As far as family life is concerned, she and friedhelm made the most of the little time they had with their two sons," says heiner neubauer.
While the older son is now studying business administration, the younger one is thinking about continuing the business – in the sixth generation. Marion, friedhelm and heiner are naturally delighted. On the other hand, they know the pitfalls of the business. "It’s an eternal struggle, states the senior boss. Daughter-in-law marion adds: "for 25 years I’ve had the same complaint in my ear: it takes too long, takes too long…" What would it be like, she says, if "people were consciously enjoying their food with all their senses instead of rushing to the next highlight?."
Has she ever regretted becoming a landlady because of her love for friedhelm?? Marion shakes her head energetically. "Where else do you have the opportunity to make people happy every day??"
Today, this works by "not only caring for people, but also living with them". The neubauers even create entire experience days for their guests on request. Marion also puts a lot of passion into a particularly beautiful environment. "Now, for christmas, for example, we have turned the courtyard into a winter forest, where there is gluhwein and hot chocolate in the evenings.", the 44-year-old tells enthusiastically.
If she had one wish, it would be: "people should be proud of ‘their’ dorirtschaft and be happy that we still exist."