BII survey highlights pub fragility

A survey of BII members has highlighted the fragility of pubs in every community across the UK.

A survey of British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) members has highlighted the fragility of pubs in every community across the UK.

The news comes as venues face huge inflationary headwinds, disproportionate costs for their businesses, severe staff shortages and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on consumers.

According to the survey, over 75% of BII members are down on the revenues they saw in 2019, with 84% of those being down by more than 10%. Nearly a third are down by more than 30% vs 2019.

In addition, 86% have reported that their profits are down vs the same period in 2019 and almost half of those were seeing profits down by more than 30%.

A worrying 30% of respondents said they currently have no cash reserves in their business, with a further 50% only having between one and three months’ worth of cash reserves.

Furthermore, 70% have debts in their business, with one in four pubs having debts of between £50,000 and over £100,000. Without support, the BII says business failure will result in much of the repayment of government backed debt will be lost.

Support is needed

BII members have identified four key areas where government can support the industry: VAT reduction for hospitality businesses; an energy price rise cap for pubs; full cancellation of business rates for 2023/24; and draught beer and cider duty cut for pubs.

“Government support is essential to enable us to create and develop economic, employment and social value growth in every community," says Steve Alton, CEO of the BII. "There is no need for failure with the right support in place, but if government do not step forward, they will have missed the opportunity to tackle so many of the issues we are facing as a nation, head on.

“Without support from government across the four key areas our members have identified, we will undo all of the good they do in bringing people together. Without support, we will lose the opportunity for growth and regeneration, we will lose pubs from the heart of their communities, and we will lose something very special in our nations’ unique heritage and culture.

“They now need, and deserve, the support that can enable them to survive and thrive once more.” 

You may also be interested in…