The hospitality sector is ‘an industry in peril’ according to the latest edition of the UKHospitality and CGA Quarterly Tracker, which reveals both Q3 2021 sales and full 12-month figures are nearly half what they were over the same period pre-pandemic.
The data shows a 45% drop in sales for the 12 months to end-September 2021 compared to year to end-September 2019, before Covid-19 struck, and annual sales remain £60bn below 2019’s £132bn annual turnover.
The sector is proving its mettle, however, with signs that given the right support it could return to strength and drive economic growth and job creation. This year’s Q3 sales, for example, indicate a 73% growth rate compared to the same quarter in 2020, which reflects the benefit of removing restrictions.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “While things are certainly moving in the right direction, recovery remains painfully slow and there are massive gaps between the numbers now and where they were before Covid-19 wreaked its havoc.
“Ours is an industry in peril, and this latest data reflects a sector fighting on all fronts for survival. Since trading restrictions were lifted, operators have been plagued with a labour crisis and supply chain issues, not to mention soaring inflationary costs. In addition, VAT has risen and the cap on business rates, announced in the last budget, penalises the most successful businesses in the sector as it means no business can claim more than £110,000. This means even smaller operators, with just three or four sites, will miss out on relief.
“Given all the above, the Government must look at implementing measures to support the industry. The most effective of these would be to rethink the cap on business rates relief and maintain the current lower 12.5% of VAT for the sector after April next year when it is set to return to 20%. If this support isn’t put in place sooner rather than later, then consumers will find themselves paying higher prices, hundreds of hospitality businesses will collapse and thousands of jobs will be lost.”
Latest industry data and metrics:
Exact sales figures for YEAR to September 2021 in £bn: In the 12 months up to the end of September 2021, the hospitality sector saw £73.1bn sales. This compares to £133.6bn sales in the 12 months up to the end of September 2019 a pre-Covid comparison). This represents a drop of -45.3% vs the same 12 month period pre-Covid (£133.6bn)
Q3 sales compared to 2019 (July, August and September): The ‘UKHospitality Tracker for Q3 2021’ provides a view of total turnover/sales for the entire hospitality sector. In Q3 (July – Sept) 2021 the hospitality sector produced revenues of £31.6bn, an increase of 73% vs Q3 2020 (£18.3bn)…BUT a drop of -10.1% vs Q3 2019 (£35.1bn).
Closures: according to the ‘CGA & AlixPartners Market Recovery Monitor’ which tracks venue openings and closures, between March 2020 and September 2021, the Licensed market lost 9,900 sites (net closures, incl. openings & closures) equivalent to a loss of 8.6% of venues. Nightclubs and guest houses were among the worst affected. More information is available.
Job losses and vacancies: UKHospitality estimates that the sector has lost almost 700,000 jobs since March 2020 and is currently seeing 10% vacancy rates, representing a shortage of around 200,000 staff across the UK.