Bank Holiday Boosts Pub Sales, But Staff Shortages Dampen Economic Potential

UK pubs will have benefitted from a boost over the long weekend with around 57 million pints poured and enjoyed, but five million more, worth £22m, could have been sold if many weren’t battling with staff shortages.

As the holidays drew to a close, pubs welcomed people looking to enjoy glimmers of sunshine and the long weekend. But the hospitality provided was not without its challenges, with staff shortages currently holding back many pubs from fulfilling their full potential, with revenue likely down around 8% as a result.

A recent cross-industry survey conducted by the British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping, Hospitality Ulster and UKHospitality, showed 61% of hospitality businesses are currently experiencing staff shortages, with 42% reducing opening hours on weekends due to a lack of team members.

For over two years hospitality has had the highest vacancy rate of any sector, with the most recent ONS figures showing the UK’s average vacancy rate is at 3.2% with hospitality almost two percent higher than that at 5.1%.

With £1.6bn usually generated in tax for the Treasury across the whole of the summer season, the BBPA is calling on the Government to take action to solve the staffing crisis to allow pubs to unlock their full economic potential.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

“Our pubs support economies across the country and during the summer season they thrive on welcoming people from near and far, but they are being held back by an ongoing staffing crisis.

“Businesses are taking initiatives to overcome these challenges through altering menus and shortening hours, but ultimately this means they are not trading to full capacity and in turn that means lower sales and less revenue generated for the Treasury.

“We urgently need the Government to implement solutions to solve the staffing crisis by making changes to the youth mobility scheme and widening the Shortage Occupation List, because brilliant pubs thrive on brilliant people, and we need more of them to reach our full economic potential.”