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Only 59% of UK pub owners confident they will still be open in 12 months

Only three fifths of UK pub managers and owners believe their establishment will still be open in 12 months

ONLY three fifths of UK pub managers and owners believe their establishment will still be open in 12 months, new research from Peckwater Brands has revealed.

A study among 200 UK pubs uncovered grave concerns about the future. Only 43% feel optimistic about the future of their pub, and just 59% believed theirs would still be operating in 12 months. 

Less than two-fifths (39%) have confidence in the government’s support for the hospitality sector. 

This survey was the first iteration of ‘The Local’, a new piece of bi-monthly research from Peckwater Brands, Europe’s largest virtual brand operator. The Local will monitor the state of the UK’s pub sector in the year ahead. September’s research and its accompanying report showed how economic trends were taking a toll.

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In last week’s mini budget, where the government issued sweeping tax cuts that have attracted much criticism, few measures were introduced to prop up struggling hospitality businesses. The vast majority of those surveyed were in favour of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng cutting business rates for pubs (68% want to see this) and cutting VAT for pubs (67%). Almost two-thirds (62%) of UK pubs feel the Government should change visa rules to allow more non-UK residents to work in hospitality roles.

The majority (63%) of pub owners and managers describe inflation as a “major issue”, with 48% saying the same of rising interest rates. Supply chain issues are prevalent for almost half (47%) of pubs, while 35% admit to struggling to recruit and retain enough staff.  

Sam Martin, CEO of Peckwater Brands, said: “Rising costs and reduced consumer spending pose serious threats to many UK pubs, and the results of our first The Local survey show just how challenging the current climate is. Confidence is low; the outlook for many pubs is somewhat bleak.

“Through this new research initiative, we hope to shed light on the sentiments, struggles and strategies of these businesses, from which action can be taken. And this is crucial. The pub is a British institution, a communal space that brings us together. It must be supported.

“Clearly, managing inflation, attracting customers and retaining staff are all pertinent issues. For me, it is the pubs that are proactively seeking ways to remain competitive, improve efficiency and offer a better experience to punters that will stand the best chance of weathering this storm. It will be intriguing to see how the pub sector responds, and hopefully our research can help owners and managers to steer their own path through this testing time.”

Peckwater Brands recently acquired competitor Honest Food Company to take over their operations in four countries, becoming Europe’s largest virtual food brand operator in the process. This acquisition came after a £15 million Series A funding round in June, followed by a further crowdfunding round on Seedrs in early September. 

The company works with a number of pubs throughout the UK, helping them to integrate virtual food brands into their kitchen operations and take advantage of increased order volumes and revenue through third-party food delivery platforms like Deliveroo and Uber Eats. 

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