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72% of hospitality and pub businesses could become unviable and close in 2021

Trade bodies call for adaptation of current tier restrictions and more grant support to ensure thousands of businesses survive and hundreds of thousands of jobs are saved 

Pub and hospitality trade bodies the British Beer & Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping and UKHospitality have today revealed that 72% of sector businesses expect to become unviable and close in 2021.

The trade bodies say the finding, from a survey of members of all three trade associations conducted by hospitality market research company CGA, shows thousands of hospitality and pub businesses need the Government to do more to support them.

The survey found that the tiering system used across England was particularly damaging to pubs and hospitality businesses. Under tier one restrictions, only 25% of operators said they could turn a profit. Under tier two restrictions, 76% said they would be unviable or operating at a loss. For those pub and hospitality businesses having to operate under tier three restrictions, the survey found that 94% would be unviable or operating at a loss.

Heading into December, a key month for the very survival of pubs and hospitality businesses due to the increased trade of the festive period, 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. They are also asking for the Government to allow ‘wet-led’ pubs (pubs who serve just drinks) 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, according to the trade bodies.

They say these measures are needed to help enable communities, friends and families to safely gather this Christmas in venues which are following Government guidelines, serving to tables, enforcing social distancing and working with NHS test and trace, whilst helping ensure the sector’s very survival by maximising its ability to viably trade in this critical period.

As pub and hospitality businesses operating under these restrictions are so affected, the trade bodies say the Government must also provide them with larger grants as the current level of support is simply not enough for them to survive on. They say grants in line with those given during the first lockdown are needed to support businesses who are uncertain over how long they could be in tier three especially.

A joint spokesperson for the three organisations said:  

“The evidence is here to see of the devastating, long-term impact the Government’s restrictions are having on hospitality and pub businesses.

“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. That means relaxing the ban on more than one household in tier two and extending the 10pm hard curfew cut-off point.

“Those pubs and hospitality venues facing tier three restrictions currently have an impossible task of trying to remain viable as businesses. In recognition of this, the Government must enable wet-led pubs to re-open in tier three where they do not serve food, as well as significantly enhance the grant support for those businesses not viable across all tiers, but especially those in tier three. This will ensure their very survival so they can re-open once more when we are through the worst of this crisis.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Survey referred to throughout release was a survey of  UKH, BII and BBPA members conducted in November 2020 by CGA

British Beer & Pub Association

The British Beer & Pub Association is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. The Association is more than a century old and was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904. Our members account for some 90 per cent of beer brewed in Britain today, and own around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs.

For further information, please contact:

Nick Lawrie, Digital Communications Manager: nlawrie@beerandpub.com, 07824 359 013 

UKHospitality

UKHospitality is the trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, representing over 700 companies, operating around 70,000 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 – covering pubs, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, contract catering, leisure parks, visitor attractions and coffee shops.

For further information, please contact:

Chris Banks, PR Manager, cbanks@ukhospitality.org.uk, 020 7404 7744

British Institute of Innkeeping

The BII is the leading independent licensee support organisation for individuals working in hospitality, with over 8,500 individual members running premises across the UK – predominantly tenanted, leased, managed and freehold pubs. The organisation provides expert helplines, online business support, and guidance on key industry issues, face-to-face networking opportunities and savings on a range of supply deals for its members.

For further information please contact:

Molly Davis, molly.davis@BII.ORG, 07539 377752


Joint press release from BBPA, UK Hospitality and BII

Contacts above

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