ONS data highlights urgent need for pub support

UKHospitality has warned again that rising costs threaten investment and jobs in the pub sector and called on the Government to support valuable businesses.

The warning follows a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Economies of Ale, outlining changes to the UK’s pub industry.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said, “Looking at this data, it is clear that pubs are facing challenges, but that they are also crucial providers of jobs around the UK. The new report underlines the need for support from Government to ensure that vital businesses are not squeezed further.

“Almost one quarter of pubs have closed since 2008 and, with costs continuing to increase, many of them are unlikely to ever reopen. Turnover has also remained stagnant for the sector since the recession and is significantly lower than the pre-recession high, despite customer spend remaining relatively stable. This is a sure sign that costs are continuing to increase, and margins squeezed as a result.

“Despite this, pubs are investing in their teams and employment in the sector has increased significantly since the low in 2010. The number of people working in pubs is back to pre-recession levels, but this will be under threat if costs continue to rise.'

Nicholls finished, 'This year’s UKHospitality Christie & Co Benchmarking Report showed costs for the sector at 52.5% of turnover, the highest in the 12-year history of the report. The new report from the ONS is another reminder that, despite the best efforts of the sector to provide jobs, unless rising costs are addressed, pubs will continue to close.”