The British pub trade has reacted with horror to the prime minister’s announcement that pubs, bars and restaurants will be forced to close at 10pm every night as of this Thursday.
And a new survey has given startling evidence of the fears throughout the industry. Trade bodies the BBPA, UKHospitality and the BII have unveiled new findings showing that almost a quarter (23 percent) of their members think their businesses will fail by the end of the year without further Government support.
The findings, from a survey of members of all three trade associations, revealed the high level of concern about the future of the pub and wider hospitality sector without further support from Government. This was before the latest restrictions for pubs, restaurants and the wider hospitality sector were announced.
The survey also found that one in eight hospitality staff have already been made redundant, and that more sector jobs are expected to be permanently lost when the Government’s furlough scheme comes to an end in October. On average, businesses believe their workforce will be 25 percent lower by February 2021 compared to February this year – a decline of 675,000 jobs lost from the sector in a year.
Only 7 percent of respondents said they were feeling optimistic about the prospects of the hospitality sector over the next 12 months, down from 23 percent in August and 19 per cent in July when respondents were previously asked the same question.
The trade bodies have all called on the Government to take drastic action, urging it to immediately put in place a new sector-specific employment support package and to extend the VAT cut and business rates holiday for the sector.
These measures, they say, will help pubs and hospitality businesses survive any further disruptions to their operations, enabling them to work towards a safe and sustainable recovery heading into 2021 and beyond.