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Half of hospitality firms fear closure

More than half of UK hospitality businesses believe they are at risk of folding due to the pandemic, a new survey has found.

Hospitality venue
Over a third (36%) of hospitality leaders do not believe their business will survive by the end of 2021

Food delivery service Peckwater Brands surveyed 250 senior decision-makers within UK restaurants, bars, cafés and takeaways.

According to the research, 58% of UK hospitality businesses said the pandemic has put them at risk of shutting down. Furthermore, more than a third (36%) do not believe their business will survive by the end of 2021, with 43% of respondents saying their company will likely cease to exist after five years.

In addition, 67% of those surveyed said they had seen a significant drop in income since the start of the pandemic.

The poll found that 64% of hospitality business leaders said their mental wellbeing had been majorly impacted by the pressures of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, 74% of hospitality business leaders had analysed their existing operations to find areas of improvement to boost their chances of survival.

Three quarters of businesses said they have relied on takeaway services to stay afloat during the pandemic, while 69% have sourced new, cheaper suppliers to improve profit margins.

Sam Martin, COO of Peckwater Brands, said: “While the pandemic has impacted all industries, few have had to overcome harder or more numerous blows than the hospitality sector. Multiple lockdowns, social distancing rules, health and safety improvements, and uncertainty surrounding new Covid variants – it is understandable that confidence among restaurants and takeaways is so low.

“Positively, however, our research suggests managers have accepted that they must adapt to survive. From finding cheaper suppliers to embracing takeaway services, it’s encouraging to see hospitality businesses thinking creatively about how they can increase their income throughout such a challenging time.

“Many challenges lie ahead. Restrictions might be easing again, but there remains the prevalent threat of a fresh variant setting back the sector’s much-needed recovery. Yet if businesses are willing to be flexible and creative with their approach to operations, I have every confidence that 2022 will be a much brighter year for the hospitality sector.”

The UK hospitality industry is embarking upon its biggest recruitment campaign to date in a bid to fill 400,000 vacancies across the sector.

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