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Gloucestershire Business News

Inflation ‘as bad as Covid’ for hospitality

Nearly 5,000 licensed hospitality premises were lost last year - more than in 2021.

Rises in energy bills and staff costs contributed to a net decline of 4,809 licensed premises in 2022, as reported by the Times.

Popular café, Lily's, in the centre of Gloucester has recently closed temporarily, while the owners consider a way forward for the business.

Ivan Taylor, co-owner of Lily's, said: "It's a difficult situation for hospitality nationally, not just us. Working from home has hit hospitality hard.

"We've explored options and need to consider which is the best course of action for the business."

A year ago, the sector was feeling confident that the pandemic was over and that it would be able to get back to normal, but there may still be more casualties of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

The Hospitality Market Monitor shows the hospitality sector has 13,307 fewer venues than in March 2020 - equal to 13 venues being lost every day in that time. In the final quarter of 2022, this rate accelerated to 18 a day.

Trade body, UKHospitality, said a focus on reducing the cost of doing business needs to be a priority for the Government to allow the sector to get back on its feet and create job opportunities.

Of the 1,600 hospitality businesses lost in the final quarter of 2022, almost 90% were independents.

There were 4,880 hospitality sites lost in 2020 and 3,348 lost in 2021, including both big players and independent businesses.

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