The casual dining crunch saw 30 people a day lose their jobs during 2018 through administrations, CVAs and rationalization, as the sector grapples with rising costs and overcapacity.
According to new research from a study by the Centre for Retail Research, a total of 10,413 job losses across the entire casual dining sector in the UK during 2018, with the likes of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Carluccios, Prezzo, Chimichanga, Byron and Jamie’s Italian amongst a host of big name restaurant chains that all closed outlets this year.
The research also forecast that a further 10,950 jobs will be lost across the casual dining sector in the UK in 2019 up 5% with independent restaurants being hit hard.
Real estate adviser Altus Group say property taxes through business rates in England Wales for restaurants were £564.70 million during 2018/19 up by 23.3% representing a 2 year cumulative increase of £106.64 million since the controversial revaluation came into effect in April 2017.
Alex Probyn, president of UK Expert Services at Altus Group, said: “There has been huge growth in the casual dining market with restaurant numbers up 16% overall since 2010.”
“The race for space pushed up rents impacting on rateable values which came into effect in 2017. Extra tax for business rates coupled with rising food prices and staff costs through increases in both the national and minimum wages created a lethal cocktail as margins were squeezed.”
Small restaurants in England, those with a rateable value of less than £51,000, will see their business rates bills cut by a third in April through measures taken by the Chancellor at the Autumn Budget to address the squeeze although the help is likely to be severely limited for those restaurants operated by chains given the €200,000 3 year EU state aid cap.