Is there light at the end of the tunnel for pubs and restaurants?

Amongst the most striking headline results are:-

  • 750,000 jobs are under threat if there’s no additional government support
  • Three quarters of respondents (76%) were making a loss before the new tiered lockdown system was announced in October
  • Half of respondents says expected new restrictions will halve their turnover this coming winter
  • 25% of hospitality businesses are predicted to fail by the end of 2020
  • 50% of hospitality businesses are now expected to fail by the end of March in 2021

UKHospitality joined with the Federation of Wholesale Distributors and the Food and Drink Federation to poll their memberships and gain an accurate reading of the pressure they say they are under. 

They issued a joint statement which said: “Without urgent sector-specific support for our industry, massive business failure is imminent and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost around Christmas from a sector that was in growth at the beginning of this year, as well as the supply chain that supports them. While there are any restrictions placed on hospitality and pubs, there must be financial support in place across all tiers of risk.” 

“The above measures are essential to ensure the continuity of critical public sector food and drink supply and the government must introduce them immediately.” 

They have written an open letter to the government saying that the threat to the sector could soon spill over and threaten food supplies to care homes, schools, hospitals and prisons if support isn’t forthcoming. 

They want to see the furlough scheme extended to areas under Tier 2 (high) and Tier 3 (very high) restrictions, business rates relief extended to the wholesale sector and discretionary grants issued to supply chains if they’re at risk of collapse. 

With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme due to close at the end of October, the groups say their members are in an economic “no man’s land” as they say the forthcoming Job Support Scheme isn’t viable for most hospitality businesses. 

Welsh pubs, restaurants and hotels are being forced to close for 17 days as part of a nationwide “fire break” this week which will exacerbate their situations. Although the Welsh government has unveiled an economic resilience fund including a one-off payment of £5,000 to hospitality businesses. 

Hospitality workers held a socially distanced demonstration in front of the Houses of Parliament on Monday to plead their case. Many wore their work uniforms to illustrate the range of jobs that are being affected. 

Katie Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality said: “It’s no surprise to us that our colleagues from the beleaguered hospitality industry wish to express themselves in this way and we stand shoulder to shoulder in support of them.

“Businesses are feeling the cumulative impact of all the restrictions placed on them, and have really suffered since the introduction of the curfew, which has had a severe and devastating impact. 

“Now with the introduction of the tiers system, we are reaching the point of no return for many. Many are trading unsustainably and at a fraction of their pre-Covid levels.”

What next for hospitality?

For restaurants, pubs, cafes or any other business in the hospitality sector, 2020 has gone beyond push and shove – it’s more like facing a charging rhino.

The recent survey and protests should leave nobody in any doubt as to the seriousness and precariousness of the situation of many of our best loved and local hospitality businesses. 

We try to help them as individuals by ordering from them when we can or visiting safely and abiding by the rules. 

But we can help most professionally – as BusinessRescueExperts. 

Any pub, restaurant, cafe or other business can contact us right now and arrange a free initial consultation

We won’t be able to advise on menus or Covid safe dining room arrangements but we will be able to tell you how an insolvency moratorium, a CVA or administration can be used right now to buy you time and make the necessary changes and moves that could save your business.

Time is of the essence – the situation is changing daily and the longer you wait, the less options you’ll have when you do decide to get in touch. The sooner you do, the sooner we can get to work with you.