Hospitality and pub trade bodies UKHospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) have cited findings from a survey of their members by hospitality market research company CGA that reveal that 72% of sector businesses expect to close next year unless given more support.
The survey found that the tiering system used across England was particularly damaging. Under tier one restrictions, only 25% of operators said they could turn a profit, while under tier two restrictions, 76% said they would be unviable or operating at a loss.
For pub and hospitality businesses having to operate under tier three restrictions, the survey found that 94% would be unviable or operating at a loss.
The trade bodies are calling on the Government to adapt the current tier restrictions by relaxing the ban on household mixing in tier two, alongside a modest extension to the 10pm curfew during the Christmas period, which could prove make or break for many businesses.
They are also asking for the Government to allow ‘wet-led’ pubs to re-open in tier three without having to serve food as well, provided they follow the other rules. The medium risk tier one should also be relaxed further.
“The evidence is here to see of the devastating, long-term impact the Government’s restrictions are having on hospitality and pub businesses,” says a joint spokesperson for the three organisations.
“Without a change in approach and more support from Government, much of our sector could be gone within a year – that means businesses and jobs lost plus much-loved venues closed forever.
“We recognise that local restrictions will need to be based on local risk levels, but to ensure our sector can bring people together properly this Christmas and beyond, and crucially provide them a safe environment to socialise in, we believe the tier system should be fine-tuned.”