Hospitality has lost one in 18 of its licensed sites last year

Thursday, July 27, 2023

The most recent three-month analysis of CGA by NIQ and AlixPartners shows that the number of licensed premises in the UK fell by 1.1% during the three months from April 2023 to June 2023.

"It's been another tough quarter for hospitality, with soaring energy, food and labour costs squeezing businesses’ margins and inflation and interest rate rises sapping consumer confidence,"

Karl Chessell

The actual closure rate means that approximately 5% of the market is closed annually and an amazing number of nearly 15.000 branch closures have been undertaken since March 2020, as measured by licences issued locally.

This follows a steady return of commuters and visitors to the major intersections, as well as a rise in people living in the most central areas of many of the country's biggest cities in recent years.

Smaller companies are bearing the brunt of the closures and the casual dining sector has now lost 7.0% of its branches over the last twelve months - in stark contrast to minimal growth of 0.1% in managed catering sector.

"These figures clearly demonstrate the challenges faced by hospitality businesses,"

Kate Nicholls

But the Hospitality Market Monitor also has some evidence on cautious optimism.

Net closures in the first half of 2023 were less than half of those recorded in the second half of 2022 (3.841), and some of the newly released units were reallocated by other players, including emerging markets.

The casual dining industry is 5.6% worse today than it was last 12 months but pubs run by food guides (minus 2.9%), top-floor pubs (minus 3.1%) and community pubs (-4.1%) are all experiencing significantly fewer closures than the wider sector.

Meanwhile, UK inner cities have become increasingly resilient: the number of homes approvable fell by 4.2%, a net, in the 12 months to June 2023 - better than declines of 5.9 and 5.4% respectively in large and small towns.