Average pub turnover fell by 1.8% last year as costs in-creased 4% to a huge 52% of turnover, according to the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers annual survey of 31 companies.
Town-centre venues and clubs were worst hit with like-for-like turnover down 7.1% as the smoking ban and negative attention from licensing authorities took their toll.
Pubs that focused on wine, food and accommodation were the only ones with rising turnover — on average up 0.8%. Spend on entertainment fell from 8% of turn-over to 6% as costs soared.
"We know for a fact that the cost of PPL charges, Sky charges and door staff charges are not going down, so it has to be attributed to the fact that people are sacrificing it," said director
of communications Kate Nicholls. The ALMR's figures showed that, on average, Sky cost 2.2% of turnover in a community local, and 1.7% in town-centre outlets.
"We're probably also seeing some impact of licensing reform, it's more difficult and costly to put on entertainment now," she added.
Nicholls also highlighted that security spend was increasing across the board. "This is obviously a key message when we go back to Government and in our briefings in the Policing & Crime Bill about alcohol disorder — look at how much we're already doing, do we actually need a code setting out even more red tape and burdens and costs on security measures?"
The 31 ALMR member companies operate 1,600 managed multiple outlets — about 15% of the total UK managed estate, with two-thirds of sites owned freehold.