By Lucy Ashton
More than a third of hospitality businesses are at risk of going bust at the beginning of next year due to rising costs, a survey has suggested.
A total of 35% of the sector said they were expecting to be operating at a loss or to be unviable by the end of the year, according to leading figures in the hospitality industry.
Carried out by UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and Hospitality Ulster, the study found 77% of businesses are seeing a decrease in people eating and drinking out.
Around 85% of those expect the situation to get worse, and 89% said they were not confident that government support would protect them.
“If urgent action isn’t taken, it is looking incredibly likely that we will lose a significant chunk of Britain’s iconic hospitality sector in the coming weeks and months,” the trade associations said in a joint statement.
Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to UKHospitality.
Ahead of the chancellor’s fiscal statement on 17 November, the sector has called for further business rates relief and a move to cut VAT sales tax for hospitality to help the industry survive.