A third of hospitality groups fear collapse

One in three hospitality firms have “little or no” confidence in surviving the next three months, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The sector was found to be the most discouraged industry in the survey’s findings, followed by the administrative and support service activities industry, where 18% of firms reporting a fear of collapse. 

The ONS found that 14% of businesses across the entire economy felt they had “low or no confidence”.

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It comes only days after the British Beer & Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping and UKHospitality revealed that 72% of sector businesses expect to become “unviable” and close in 2021.

The associations found that 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, while under tier three restrictions, 94% would be unviable or operating at a loss.

The trade bodies said the findings, from a survey of members of all three trade associations, showed that “thousands” of hospitality and pub businesses need the Government to do more to support them.

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.”

“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.”