An All Time Low: UK Hospitality Bosses Say Industry is Fighting for Survival

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Excerpt from The Guardian

Adrian Forte, owner of The Duck, a bar and restaurant in Bournemouth, describes the current circumstances in which his venue has to operate as unprecedented.

“I’ve been in the business for 40 years, and I’ve never seen such a perfect storm,” he says. “First Brexit, causing all these staff shortages, then Covid, and now the cost of living crisis. We feel like we are being squeezed on all sides.”

Up and down the country, restaurants, pubs and hotels have been driven to the brink: more than a third of UK hospitality businesses said in October last year they could go bust within months amid surging energy bills and declining bookings.

Nine months later, the venues that have survived the winter are battling inflation, a staffing crisis, patchy customer demand and soaring interest rates that have had knock-on effects on various parts of the industry.

“We were looking at opening a second site, but that’s been put on ice,” Forte says. “The end of freedom of movement has really stuffed the industry.

“We struggle to find one new chef when one leaves, we couldn’t face trying to find five new chefs for a new bar. We’ve had to put wages up by 10%, to retain staff. Our energy costs have doubled, food costs in general are up about 20%, beer prices have gone through the roof. In March they rose by 20% and our supplier just said there’s another rise in the pipeline.

“We’ve introduced £6-for-a-pint with that rise, and you’re asking yourself whether you can charge £7 for a pint of beer – perhaps you can do that in London, but not so much down here.”

Because chefs in particular are “almost impossible to find”, as Forte insists, the venue has stopped doing roasts and is no longer opening for breakfast.

Click here to read complete article at The Guardian.

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About Mary Weyand 11096 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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