New Research Reveals Hospitality Is One of the UK’s Fastest Growing Sectors

Business is looking up in the UK hospitality sector, as new research by Yell Business has revealed that it was the fifth fastest growing industry throughout 2021.

Using data acquired from Companies House, the research helps to show that despite another challenging year, the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation is alive and well, with more businesses founded per month in 2021 than in 2020, or even during pre-pandemic 2019.

In fact, an average of 13% more new businesses were founded each month in 2021 vs. 2019 and it was the hospitality sector helping to lead the way. Of the 718,441 companies started during 2021, 64,404 (9%) of those were from within Hospitality, in the face of what has been an uncertain year for the likes of hotels and pubs.

Of those new ventures founded within the industry, some 16,898 were takeaways and mobile food stands, highlighting how many have capitalised on working from home guidance and closures with a new business idea.

The 10 Fastest Growing Sectors in 2021

Rank Sector Businesses Founded in 2021
1. Retail 119,948
2. Professional Services 116,669
3. Real Estate 109,570
4. Commercial Services 67,858
5. Hospitality 64,404
6. Construction 61,035
7. Wholesale 45,578
8. Information and Communication 37,175
9. Manufacturing 36,538
10. Health and Social Work 36,753

Yell’s research also revealed where budding entrepreneurs could find the biggest opportunities within the sector. This was achieved by analysing the Google search demand for the likes of ‘London hotel’ versus the actual number of businesses fitting that description in each area. Revealing that demand for pubs in Oxford far outweighs the supply and therefore could present an opportunity for anyone looking to open a new pub in 2022.

Key Areas Where Demand Outweighs Supply in The Hospitality Sector

Business type Top three locations based on searches per listing
Restaurant 1.       Reading (1153.91)

2.       Bournemouth (999.54)

3.       Bath (955.48)

Hotel 1.       Wigan (2762.07)

2.       Oldham (2300.00)

3.       Milton Keynes (2269.01)

Pub 1.       Oxford (523.36)

2.       Milton Keynes (479.70)

3.       Brighton (452.74)

Bar 1.       Newcastle upon Tyne (422.54)

2.       Belfast (413.97)

3.       Bournemouth (365.16)

Café 1.       Oxford (357.20)

2.       Brighton (335.20)

3.       Bath (294.19)

Claire Miles, Chief Executive Officer of Yell commented: “With the challenges of the last two years, we might expect to find that fewer people were deciding to take the leap into the world of starting and running their own business. However, the data clearly shows that it has potentially inspired more people to take ownership of what they do for a living and finally make the dream of running their own business come true. It certainly has when it comes to the Hospitality sector!

With the background of the pandemic and numerous economic and supply chain challenges, it’s really encouraging to see that the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK is continuing to grow year on year. We look forward to working with some of these new business owners in the Hospitality market in 2022, to help make their venture a success”.

The extensive analysis also highlighted which areas of the UK had seen the highest number of businesses launched per capita, and somewhat surprisingly the Welsh coastal town of Llandudno ranked as the most entrepreneurial location, showing that big business doesn’t just start in the city.

Further breakdowns of these findings can be found in the full report published on: