UK restaurants are going bust at a faster rate than during the Covid crisis owing to a “toxic mix” of surging energy costs, staff shortages and falling bookings.
Closures in the sector rose by 60%, with 1,567 insolvencies over 2021-22, up from 984 during 2020-21, according to a study by the advisory firm Mazars.
The figure includes 453 over the past three months, up from 395 in the previous quarter.
“Insolvencies of restaurant businesses are now happening at a far faster rate than during Covid,” Rebecca Dacre, a partner at Mazars, said.
“It is a very toxic mix of rising input costs, sharply rising finance costs and weak demand. Most restaurateurs have not seen this combination of negative factors before.”
“The Christmas trading period is usually a bumper period for hospitality businesses. However, restaurants will be bracing themselves for a very tough winter and many face a real battle to keep afloat,” Dacre said. “There’s a certainty of further insolvencies if they don’t receive much more support from the government, but the chances of the government fully turning on the taps is low.”