UKHospitality: 'Stark year ahead without Government intervention'

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UKHospitality warns sector faces a 'stark year ahead' without Government intervention to alleviate cost pressures

Related tags Inflation Government ukhospitality Budget

UKHospitality has warned that the sector faces a 'stark year ahead' with a third of businesses still 'at risk of failure' unless the Government intervenes to alleviate rising cost pressures.

The comments come as the UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker, in association with CGA, shows revenue was up 4.2% in 2022 compared to 2019, but down 13% in real terms when inflation is accounted for.

Cost pressures, alongside ongoing labour shortages and Covid-19 debt, has left many hospitality businesses in a perilous position, according to the research.

“These figures show the challenging position the sector is in,” says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality.

“The demand from the public is quite clearly there, with revenue exceeding pre-Covid levels, but there is no way venues can take advantage of this demand as they drown amidst price rise after price rise.

“Without action, we can see just how stark the year ahead could be with a third of businesses at risk of failure. Venues are simply unable to pass prices onto the consumer at the same rate they are experiencing their own costs rise.”

Alongside the Tracker data, the trade body also notes that the latest Hospitality Members Survey, conducted jointly by UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and Hospitality Ulster, shows that almost a third (32%) of businesses are still at risk of failing in the next year.

UKHospitality is urging Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to address the root causes of inflation in the forthcoming Budget, which is set to be delivered on 15 March. 

It is calling for intervention in the energy market, Apprenticeship Levy reform and a new business rates multiplier to provide an immediate boost to the sector and prevent business failures, allowing those that survive to invest, employ and grow.

“If the Chancellor wants to stem the bleeding in hospitality and stop those prices rises, which unfortunately contribute to inflation, he can take action in the Budget,” continues Nicholls. 

“We know one of the Government’s key priorities is cutting inflation and growing the economy, which we support. Hospitality is a prime sector to achieve this, with a track record of delivering rapid growth.

“Intervening in the energy market to stop unscrupulous behaviour by energy suppliers, reforming the Apprenticeship Levy and tackling disproportionate business rates would signal his commitment to the everyday economy and its ability to lift the nation out of its economic slump.

“People up and down the country want to support their local pubs, restaurants, coffee shops and hotels, to name just a few. If the Chancellor allows those venues to take advantage of that support, we can turn record sales into real terms growth.”

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more