Government support needed to avoid further restaurant closures
17 December 2018
Posted by: Chris Banks
The Government must act to lower costs for hospitality businesses to help avoid the threat of future restaurant closures, says UKHospitality.
The trade body has called on the Government to support the restaurant sector following a report by accountancy firm Moore Stephens highlighting venue closures. According to the report, 1,219 venues closed in 2017/18, up from 985 one year earlier.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “An increase in the number of restaurant insolvencies is obviously bad news for hospitality. It is also coming at a difficult time for businesses generally given the political instability around the country.
“The report by Moore Stephens rightly identifies increasing costs as a significant issue for restaurants, with wage increases and the apprenticeship levy singled-out as burdens for employers. Property costs are also a serious issue for hospitality businesses including restaurants, and UKHospitality has repeatedly called for a complete revamp of business rates to help high street businesses.
“With Brexit continuing to provide only instability and costs likely to increase as a result of the withdrawal, we need the Government to act positively to support the sector. Businesses cannot continue to pass costs onto customers, particularly with consumer confidence so low. Venue closures do not help anyone, they do not help customers and they certainly don’t help people trying to earn a living in the sector.
"Lowering costs for restaurants that are valuable employers and social hubs in their communities will help prevent many of them going out of business.”
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.