The cost of living crisis, high inflation and “the recent cut in government support on energy bills” has seen almost 4,600 hospitality firms go bust.
According to the latest hospitality market monitor from industry experts at CGA by NIQ and AlixPartners, that over the past 12 months there has been a total of 4,593 licensed premises have closed their doors for the last time.
The data indicates that there has been a slight slowdown in hospitality firms closing down over the past few months due to stronger than expected sales.
Karl Chessell, CGA by NIQ’s director for hospitality operators and food, said, “Each of the 4,593 closures over the last 12 months represents a sad loss of jobs and the permanent withdrawal of a community asset.”
Chessell added, “It is at least encouraging that losses have slowed in the first few months of the year — a welcome indicator that demand for hospitality remains strong.
“However, the recent cut in Government support on energy bills, alongside a hike in minimum wage rates and the ongoing tax burden, now leaves thousands more fragile venues at risk of closure.”
Graeme Smith, AlixPartners’ managing director, said, “Tellingly, this latest study underlines the growing divide between larger and smaller operators, reflecting the varied ability to withstand the continued headwinds the sector faces.
“The closure rate of independent businesses – (which are) the life blood and entrepreneurial driving force of the sector – continues to vastly outstrip the better-funded corporates and the branded operators.
“It highlights the need for Government support to be extended, especially on energy costs, if small (often family-owned) businesses are to survive.”
The British Beer & Pub Association, UKHospitality and British Institute of Innkeeping have written to Amanda Solloway, the Minister for energy consumers and affordability, and they are urgently calling on more support from the government to prevent “thousands of job losses.”
A Government spokesperson, “We have faced a period of exceptional economic challenges, caused by the pandemic and Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
“Through this period, the Government has acted swiftly to provide businesses with an unprecedented package of support which, as of April, has saved them £5.9 billion on energy costs – amounting to over £30 million a day and enabling some to only pay around half of predicted wholesale energy costs.
“Global energy prices have fallen significantly and are now at their lowest level since before Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. The new level of government support reflects this welcome fall in prices, but we will continue to stand by businesses, as we have done over the winter.”