750,000 UK hospitality jobs at risk, survey reveals

A survey commissioned by industry bodies UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer & Pub Association has warned that 750,000 jobs could be lost without further financial support.

Conducted by market researcher CGA, the survey found that 76% of businesses in the UK hospitality and pub sector were currently posting a loss.

UKHospitality warned that this figure could rise due to the fact the study was mostly carried out before the three-tier system was properly introduced.

CGA’s data predicts that by February 2021, over 750,000 jobs will be lost without further government support.

One in four hospitality businesses in the UK are now expected to go under by the end of the year, increasing to 50% by the end of Q1 in 2021, the study said.

Over half of those surveyed predicted that Covid restrictions would reduce their turnover by at least 50% this winter.

The trade bodies that commissioned the report are calling on the government to provide more support to hospitality businesses across all three tiers of the newly-announced system. In particular, they feel businesses operating in Tier 1 and Tier 2 (medium and high) “are in no man’s land”, and face pressure to continue trading with lower customer levels. This, they state, forces them “to make large sections of their staff redundant and to close their doors, potentially forever.”

The groups say the Jobs Support Scheme should be extended with employers not required to contribute until the three-tier system is lifted.

A joint spokesperson added: “Without urgent sector-specific support for our industry, massive business failure is imminent and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost around Christmas from a sector that was in growth at the beginning of this year, as well as in the supply chain that supports them.”

It follows a protest yesterday against the government’s treatment of the hospitality sector during the coronavirus pandemic. Called Hospo Demo, the event was led by chef Jason Atherton and founder of restaurant group Drake and Morgan, Jillian MacLean.

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