Glimmers Of Hope’ For Hospitality Sector Says UKHospitality CEO

There are ‘glimmers of hope’ for the hospitality sector following years of intense cost squeezes and unpredictability battering businesses according to the chief executive of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls.

Speaking at the Arena 2024 Savoy Lecture on 22nd April 2024, Nicholls delivered a sector update in which she expressed positivity that the challenges the hospitality sector has faced were potentially ‘coming to an end’ with a more positive and predictable economic environment in sight.

“It’s never been harder to turn that top line revenue into a bottom-line profit,” she said, acknowledging that increases in food, water and electricity costs, and the cost-of-living crisis, were having “a real, continued impact” on businesses.

she offered reasons for optimism, including the rebounding of global travel and signs of recovery in business, meetings and events, and a projected increase in consumer spend over the coming months, with socialising and eating and drinking out still a priority for consumers.

She cautiously suggested the industry was “potentially over the worst”, with inflation set to ease to 3.2% in March, interest cuts expected later this year, and energy and food prices starting to come down, which should feed into improving consumer confidence.

The event was followed by networking drinks, a canapé reception and a three-course dinner, as well as a raffle, which raised over £900 for industry charities the Springboard Charity and Hospitality Action.