The foodservice sector can be the future of the High Street with the correct support from Government, according to UKHospitality.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls has highlighted the vibrancy and value of the foodservice sector, and underlined its ability to achieve even greater levels of growth and investment with the right support from the Government, in evidence to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select enquiry on High Streets and Town Centres.
Nicholls emphasised the value of hospitality to the UK economy, as a hotbed of entrepreneurship, with many start-ups and young businesses driving growth across the UK.
She further warned that foodservice employers were suffering from cost pressures and that, in some cases, 30% had been wiped off margins.
A call for a root and branch reform of the business rates system was reiterated, as well as UKHospitality’s ambition for a digital business tax to ensure that online businesses pay their fair share - with funds used to ease the burden on hospitality businesses at the heart of communities.
Discussing working with local authorities, Nicholls said that local councils were key to facilitating partnerships with businesses to provide greater coordination on licensing issues and efforts to improve planning which had not kept pace with change in the sector.
Nicholls said, “This was a great opportunity to put the case for hospitality to Ministers and ensure that they know the challenges and opportunities facing this vibrant sector.
“Hospitality [foodservice] businesses are vibrant and resilient and have helped drive growth in every region of the UK, but there is more that they can provide if they are given the support they need in their communities.
'Lessening of financial burdens and easing of regulatory issues will help hospitality deliver even more jobs and investment in communities. Conversely, if businesses continue to be squeezed, much of the good work they have already done may be lost.”