UK pubs, bars and restaurants have revealed their average bill has increased by 81 per cent over the past year as companies continue to plead with the government for support.
Industry bodies have revealed that less than a third of hospitality businesses are optimistic about their future after swallowing huge increases in energy prices, as well as expensive food and wage bills. than.
Data collected by the CGA by NielsenIQ on behalf of the British Institute of Hostel Management, UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and Ulster Hotels shows the current level of turmoil facing the industry.
Research shows that 29% of hotel businesses say they feel optimistic about the next 12 months.
Business owners say they are particularly concerned about energy costs, with 86% of businesses stating this is a concern.
It comes about a year since energy bills skyrocketed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent gas prices soaring.
As a result, many companies were forced to sign long-term fixed-rate contracts last year, which affected profitability and led to closures.
Last month, analysis of official government data by commercial property specialist Altus Group found that more than 150 pubs had permanently disappeared from English and Welsh communities in the first three months of 2023, an increase 60% compared to last year.
Trade authorities have joined forces to warn that many locations will close permanently if cost pressures do not ease soon.
In a joint statement, the organizations said: “The energy crisis has pushed pubs, bars and restaurants to bankruptcy for a year now.
“The energy bill relief program has provided a brief respite but with that drop last month, businesses are returning to paying high, unending costs to the thousands of people who signed up. contracts, who will be obligated to pay excessive interest rates next year.
“Simply put, this data is extremely unsettling for thousands of viable hospitality businesses.
“No profits means nothing to invest back into the business, no cash reserves means nothing to fall back on, and businesses forced to close mean important assets. important, irreplaceable will be lost forever from local communities and economies across the country.
“The government must realize this crisis is not just crippling businesses now.
“If left unaddressed, it will have a broader and longer lasting impact in the future, affecting local jobs, supply chains and removing essential community centers from villages and towns. and cities across the UK.”
A government spokesman said: “We acted quickly to provide businesses, including the hospitality sector, an unprecedented package of support. As of April, this has saved them £6.9 billion in energy costs – or about £35 million a day – and allows some people to pay only about half of their wholesale energy costs. expected.
“Global energy prices have dropped significantly and are now at their lowest levels since before Russia illegally invaded Ukraine. The new level of government support reflects this welcome drop in prices, but we will continue to stand with businesses.
“We are also supporting the hospitality sector with support such as an alcohol tax freeze, energy bill cuts, a £13.6 billion business rate bailout and fuel tax cuts 2. ,4 billion pounds.”