The majority of the UK’s hospitality businesses believe the industry is overlooked by the Government, new research has found.
Europe’s largest virtual food brand operator commissioned an independent survey of 250 decision-makers in senior management positions within UK hospitality businesses (restaurants, takeaways, cafés and bars). It found that over three-fifths (62%) of UK hospitality businesses believe their sector receives less support and attention from the Government than other industries.
This comes as many hospitality business struggle with rising overheads, staff shortages and falling consumer spending, leading 4,600 to close their doors in the 12 months leading up to March 2023.
When asked what support could be beneficial to the sector, 28% of businesses believe employment incentive programmes would make a positive difference, with 21% wanting additional visa opportunities for foreign workers who could work in hospitality.
Two in five (40%) would welcome an extension of energy bill relief, while 36% would like to see the return of ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ or a similar initiative.
In a move to cut costs, 48% have renegotiated with or changed their supplier in the past year, with a further 44% planning on doing so in the next 12 months.
Many are also reevaluating their business strategy: 26% have switched to a takeaway-only model, with 32% planning to do so, while 39% are planning a complete rebrand of the business.
Sam Martin, CEO of Peckwater Brands,who conducted the research, said: “It’s no secret that the current economic climate for hospitality businesses is brutal. Between skyrocketing costs, huge staffing challenges and lower demand as customers tighten their purse strings, many businesses feel they can’t catch a break following the hardship of the pandemic.
“Signs that food price inflation is starting to fall may be welcome among business owners, but our research still shows they believe external support is the key to returning to their rightful pre-pandemic status.
“While favourable taxes, support schemes and legislation would undoubtedly benefit hospitality businesses, such intervention is not guaranteed. So, decision-makers must remain prepared to seek out solutions themselves. Embracing innovation and optimisation could be the thing that separates the businesses which prosper in the future and those that don’t.”