Pubs and restaurants forced to cut back on opening times due to soaring energy bills
More than 15,000 pubs and restaurants are cutting back on opening times for one day a week or more because of soaring energy bills.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed many firms serving food and drink are reducing the time when their doors are open even as the busy World Cup period approaches.
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said the ‘drastic measures’ showed the need for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to provide relief when he delivers his autumn statement this week.
Costs crunch: Figures from the Office for National Statistics show many firms serving food and drink are reducing the time when their doors are open
Gas and electricity prices are rocketing but a multi-billion package of help for businesses and consumers is expected to run out by April.
The ONS figures showed 4 per cent cutting trading by one day a week and a further 6 per cent reducing service by two or more days.
It meant that the firms in the sector were more likely than those in any other part of the economy to say they plan to cut trading by at least two days a week in November in order to cut energy costs.
Manufacturers are under strain too, which could have a further knock-on effect on hospitality firms as higher costs are passed on.
The figures also showed that 41 per cent of food and drink outlets expected to put up prices this month.
BBPA boss Emma McClarkin said: ‘This Thursday, we desperately need the Chancellor to provide relief to the cost of doing business, but we also need clarity and certainty for our pubs and brewers that energy support will continue beyond the initial six months.’