ONS data highlights urgent need for pub support
26 November 2018
Posted by: Chris Banks
UKHospitality has warned again that rising costs threaten investment and jobs in the pub sector and called on the Government to support valuable businesses.
The warning follows a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Economies of Ale, outlining changes to the UK’s pub industry.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Looking at this data, it is clear that pubs are facing challenges, but that they are also crucial providers of jobs around the UK. The new report underlines the need for support from Government to ensure that vital businesses are not squeezed further.
“Almost one quarter of pubs have closed since 2008 and, with costs continuing to increase, many of them are unlikely to ever reopen. Turnover has also remained stagnant for the sector since the recession and is significantly lower than the pre-recession high, despite customer spend remaining relatively stable. This is a sure sign that costs are continuing to increase, and margins squeezed as a result.
“Despite this, pubs are investing in their teams and employment in the sector has increased significantly since the low in 2010. The number of people working in pubs is back to pre-recession levels, but this will be under threat if costs continue to rise. This year’s UKHospitality Christie & Co Benchmarking Report showed costs for the sector at 52.5% of turnover, the highest in the 12-year history of the report. The new report from the ONS is another reminder that, despite the best efforts of the sector to provide jobs, unless rising costs are addressed, pubs will continue to close.”
Notes to editors
- UKHospitality is the new trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
- UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
- The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
- For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
- Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
- The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
- Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
· Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
· Member benefits include free advice and expert guidance on regulation, finance and health and safety as well as savings on services from carefully selected business partners.