The report, which monitors a series of indicators of company cash problems, found the number of bar and restaurant businesses facing difficult monetary issues had risen by 68 per cent during the first quarter of 2011 against the same period a year ago.
In total, the report, found that 186,554 firms in the UK experienced "significant" or "critical" financial distress in the first quarter of 2011, compared to 161,601 a year earlier.
That is a 15 per cent rise on the same period last year and a 26 per cent rise on the previous quarter.
It said that the increase was in part due to members of the public cutting discretionary spending and a drop in consumer confidence in the face of anticipated job losses in the public sector.
Ric Traynor, chairman of Begbies Traynor said: “High levels of legal actions taken against debtors indicate that creditors are attempting to maximise cash collection right across their customer base.
The hike in oil prices and January’s VAT increase has made cash flow and credit control essential priorities for most businesses with some seeking payments through the courts.”
Mark Wingett is associate editor of BigHospitality's sister publication, M&C Report .