UKHospitality: ‘It's near impossible for venues to keep up with the cost of doing business’

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Strong hospitality sales unable to keep up with inflation according to data from UKHospitality

Related tags ukhospitality Kate nicholls Inflation Cga

UKHospitality has warned that the rate of inflation means it’s 'near impossible' for operators to keep up with the cost of doing business.

The trade body's latest Quarterly Sales Tracker shows that turnover was up 6.7% in the last year to £137bn, but, compared to 2019, remains almost 20% behind in real terms when accounting for inflation.

The tracker, in association with CGA, also shows that sales in the last year are 2.3% up on pre-pandemic sales. However, the quarterly growth rate is slightly down (0.2%) year-on-year.

“These figures illustrate precisely the challenge facing hospitality businesses across the board,” says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality. 

“Demand is good and sales are strong but the rate of inflation means it’s near impossible for venues to keep up with the cost of doing business. The persistently high costs of energy, food and drink means the task of keeping up with inflation is getting harder with every passing day.

“It has been clear for a long time that these rising costs need to be tackled at source to properly bring down inflation, but we also need to ensure new costs aren’t tacked on in the future. The standout threat to the sector in the near future is the double whammy removal of business rates relief and an inflation-linked rise to rates.

 “That needs to be avoided at all costs, with a commitment to maintaining relief and avoiding an inflation-linked rise, to give the sector a fighting chance of keeping up with inflation.”

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