BII warns of sector fragility

The future of the pub industry hangs in the balance, as recovery is derailed by escalating costs.

The future of the pub industry hangs in the balance, as recovery is derailed by escalating costs, the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has warned.

Following its latest member insight report, the BII has said that the industry's recovery is being undermined by the combination of summer trading below 2019 levels, rapidly escalating costs and increasing taxation

The trade body has said that summer trading at 84% of its members' pubs was below levels in 2019, with 54% trading below 75%.

It goes on to say that the majority of the BII’s members, operating single pubs in every community across the UK, will at best be breaking even moving forward. Revenues remain below 2019 levels, the cost of food and drink is rapidly escalating, wages are having to be significantly increased to attract and retain staff, with taxation also rising as government support falls away. 

“The government has now formally recognised the significant economic, employment and social value of our members’ pubs with the recent launch of the Hospitality Strategy," says Steven Alton, BII CEO. "This insight from our membership clearly shows that further investment will be required by government to safeguard the future of our nation's pubs and enable them to be at the heart of the economic recovery.

"Our members will need trading support over the coming months and years in three key areas; a full business rates holiday for England alongside a fundamental reform of the rates system; an extension of a reduced rate of VAT for our sector; and a rapid introduction of a duty cut for draught products served in pubs, to both support them and the local brewers that are dependent upon them.

“If government does not recognise the support that is desperately needed by our fragile small businesses in the coming weeks and months, there is a very real danger of widespread business failure in our sector."

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