The UK’s largest hospitality trade bodies have written to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to highlight the critical business impact of uncertainty surrounding the move to Step 4 of the Covid roadmap.
The letter from the British Institute of Innkeeping, British Beer & Pub Association and UK Hospitality outlines how that uncertainty is exacerbating workforce challenges, with workers unconfident that the hospitality and pub sector are a stable sector for careers.
It also conveys the significant additional staffing costs incurred due to current restrictions such as table ordering and additional test and trace requirements.
The letter points out that one in four of our businesses – some 26,500 venues – remain closed due to legal restrictions.
Those venues that are trading are doing so with significantly reduced capacity and are delivering revenues at 63% of normal pre-Covid levels.
Each further month of trading at this reduced capacity reduces revenues by a further £3 billion for the sector critically undermining the sustainability of businesses and putting jobs at risk.
The sector has seen closures of 12,000 hospitality businesses over the last year, equivalent to one in 10 restaurants and one in five town centre casual dining and late night bars.
A spokesperson for the trade associations said: “The government is assessing potential risks around removing all restrictions on the 21 June and we urge them to follow their own roadmap, if the data supports it, and to allow the hospitality and pub sector to open free of restrictions.
“We urge them to fully consider the significant risk that a delay would result in business failures and job losses in every community across the UK. Our members’ businesses are extremely fragile and only the dropping of restrictions and the extension of the business rates holiday in England until April 2022, will enable them to snap back at the heart of the economic recovery.”