The latest market recovery monitor from industry consultants CGA and business consultancy firm AlixPartners said the industry, including bars, pubs and restaurants, has shrunk by 9,900 locations to date, 980 having closed between July and September only – a rate of 16 per-. daytime.
He highlighted a series of “operational challenges”, including labor shortage, supply interruption and rising costs as being responsible for the latest wave of closures, which built on just under 6,000 in 2020.
The study indicated that small independent businesses suffered the brunt of the problems, as chains were better able to adapt to the challenges businesses have faced since reopening in July for the hospitality sector.
Only the managed domains were able to grow despite their small size.
The report highlighted the plight of nightclubs and said they had suffered particularly with nearly 100 people lost since July leaving just over 1,000 in total in September.
Large gatherings in Wales and Scotland face COVID rules for proving a person’s immunization status – putting additional pressure on the nighttime economy over the coming winter as consumers’ purchasing power is squeezed by rising prices groceries to energy bills.
The hospitality industry has been one of the sectors most affected by lockdowns to control the spread of the disease since March 2020 and the largest requester for support on leave until the disappearance of the regime at the end of last month.
Industry body UKHospitality, which had pleaded for the wage assistance to be extended, estimates that 660,000 jobs were lost in the sector during the pandemic.
He is campaigning for renewed support, in particular for the VAT rate – reduced by 20% by the Chancellor temporarily last year to help operators retaliate – to be maintained at its provisional level of 12.5%.
Graeme Smith, Managing Director of AlixPartners, said of his report: “These figures are a stark, if necessary reminder, that the complete lifting of restrictions in July did not mark the end of the challenges facing hotel businesses.
“The impact on nightclubs, which were unable to operate at all during the pandemic, has been particularly severe with nearly one in 10 sites closed in the past two months.
“Demand remains strong, but with staff shortages, inflation in utility costs, and supply chain disruption, renewed efforts are being made to ensure continued government support to industry in order to keep the industry going. ‘help weather this storm as the reopening and rehabilitation process continues during what can be a difficult winter. . ”