22,000 restaurant jobs axed this year with fears worse is yet to come

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Independent restaurant sector and casual dining job losses Coronavirus

Related tags Jobs Centre for Retail Research Carluccio's Casual dining group Byron PizzaExpress Casual dining Coronavirus

The number of jobs lost across the embattled restaurant sector in 2020 is already nearly double the amount shed during the whole of 2019 with experts fearing that the worst is yet to come.

Figures compiled by the Centre for Retail Research show a total 22,039 jobs were lost across large restaurant groups and independent operators up 95.4% on the 11,280 jobs lost during the whole of 2019.

Large casual dining groups accounted for the worst losses, with the likes of Carluccio’s, Casual Dining Group, Byron, Bistrot Pierre collapsing into administration and closing large numbers of sites in the process.

Other casual dining groups are using credit voluntary agreements to trim their estates. Last week, it was confirmed that PizzaExpress is looking to close approximately 15% of its estate putting around 1,000 jobs at risk.

According to the research, 13,849 jobs have been lost in the casual dining sector this year compared to 5,760 in the independent sector.

It is feared that disappointing trading levels for many operators after re-opening combined with end of the furlough scheme will trigger a fresh round of job losses later this year.

Director of the Centre for Retail Research professor Joshua Bamfield says that he expects more pain ahead for the casual dining sector.

“The sector was already in severe difficulties before the pandemic as a result of rapid overexpansion fuelled by private equity acquisitions with the enforced lockdown serving to starve operators of revenue bringing restaurateurs now to their knees.”

The Centre for Retail Research also say that the total number of restaurants and casual dining outlets closed so far this year has racked up to 1,467 already 59.1% higher than the total 922 closed during 2019.

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