Figures released today show employment in the sector dropped by almost 25,000, or 1.4%, in the latest quarter.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The eating and drinking out sector has been a fantastic generator of jobs in recent years, employing 1.8m people, one in every six created, since 2009.
“This shock drop in the number of jobs created in the last quarter shows that eating and drinking out businesses are approaching a crucial tipping point and proactive support from the Government is needed without delay.
“The figures show the strength and importance of the sector, employing nearly 1.8 million people – 7% of the private sector workforce – but this drop in employment shows that even a very robust sector is not immune to huge financial pressures.
“The Chancellor must take decisive action on business rates and alcohol duties at the Budget next week, or more businesses are going to struggle to continue investing in their venues and job creation will stall.”