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Pubs and restaurants prepare for bumper weekend after gloomy summer

by LLB staff reporter
9th Sep 23 8:46 am

After a miserable summer, British pubs, restaurants, bars and clubs are prepping for a bumper weekend as the sun entices customers out to their favourite local spots.

With temperatures set to peak at 32 degrees, small businesses up and down the country are gearing up for a well-needed summer boost.

Daniel, owner of Kotch! Pizza in Stratford, London said, “We’re expecting to see a substantial increase in customers this weekend, which we’re really delighted about. We have big plans for Kotch Pizza, but given the shortage of staff and lots of increased costs, we have had to re-think our expansion plans this year.

“Local businesses create community, keep high streets alive and in turn make the streets safer. We’re really looking forward to seeing people out and about this weekend, and welcoming them to Kotch! Pizza – we love our customers.”

Other businesses are expecting a mixed bag this weekend and are preparing stock to suit changing customer favourites.

Alasdair, owner of Babka Cafe in Edinburgh, said, “Generally we have a very even balance of locals, students and tourists among our customers. Trade is usually very steady, but very warm sunny days are quite unpredictable. Warm weather tends to boost footfall, but some of the hottest days have shown our lowest takings as well.

“This is likely, at least in part, because a lot of our regulars are either students or retired people – so, people with flexible schedules – who can choose to take advantage of warm weather to go out of the city – to the seaside, to the mountains, etc.

“Typically there will be an increase in drinks sales, but other products can go either way. I guess it’s when you have a flash of warm weather, people focus less on staples, and more on what’s immediately available. So for this weekend, we’re making sure we’re well stocked for drinks and snacks. But it may be very quiet for us. It may also be extremely busy. It’s unlikely to be anything in between.”

The welcome upturn in customers comes amidst an otherwise unfavourable outlook for UK SMEs. Earlier this year, a new report revealed that more than a quarter (26%) of small business owners in the UK believe that they will be forced to cease trading if the outlook for their business does not improve – a potentially detrimental blow to the UK economy.

Giovanni, founder of Macrigi Marketplace in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, said, “I have seen our high street go from a bustling, happy place full of independent businesses to a total desert. For my business in particular, I have seen my supply chain affected in a number of ways which has put extra strain on the business. I am lucky to have a great team and fantastic customers, which will keep the business healthy.

“I would like to see local authorities encourage more small businesses to the area by offering financial aid to businesses starting up, holding events for the local community and redeveloping the area to make Tunstall a great opportunity for entrepreneurs.”

The SME Insights Report, published by small business insurance provider Simply Business, found that 48% of SME owners believe the rising cost of living is the most glaring challenge facing their business. Over half (63%) say that rising taxes, interest rates, and inflation are eating into profit margins, with many also grappling with trying to claw back thousands of pounds in unpaid bills.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business said, “The stoic spirit of small business owners is the backbone of the UK economy – their resilience is vital to the nation’s recovery and growth. The fact that many SMEs across the UK are struggling so significantly is a serious cause for concern for the British economy and communities.

“Naturally, the impact on consumer purchasing behaviour is trickling through to the books of small business owners at a time when SMEs need our support the most.

“The reduced levels of cash-flow and liquidity will only make things worse for many. Small businesses sit at the heart of our communities and are vital to our economy, and it is essential that we continue to support them in these times of financial uncertainty.”

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