Business rates

Restaurant and pub senior executives call on PM to help industry

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Demand for help: call for PM to help industry
Demand for help: call for PM to help industry

Related tags: Business rates, Taxation in the united kingdom

More than 20 chief executives of restaurant and pub groups have urged the Prime Minister Theresa May to help the sector by considering a VAT cut, extending transitional relief on business rates and reducing the national insurance burden.

The call was made in a letter, published into today’s (19 December) Evening Standard​, which said: “We pay millions of pounds in VAT, business rates, national insurance and other taxes. In other countries, taxes are cut for the hospitality sector.

“We want her to consider a reduction in VAT, extending transitional relief on business rates or reducing national insurance contributions.”

The list of senior executives includes Chris Hill, CEO of New World Trading Company; Alex Reilley, co-founder, and Nick Collins, CEO of Loungers; and Jeremy Roberts CEO of Living Ventures.

The bosses also highlighted to PM May their “anxiety” over potentially losing many of its foreign EU workers after the Brexit vote.

They also raised concern about the weak pound increasing food costs by about 5%. The letter also pointed out that: “Our industry is also penalised because restaurants and pubs have to charge 20% VAT.”

The increased costs of the new apprenticeship tax and increase in the national living wage to £7.50 next year and towards £9 by 2020 were also highlighted by the letter.  

“We back this – we want to pay our people well. However, labour costs represent around 30% of our revenue and we need balance elsewhere in the tax regime to do that.”

The letter: Restaurants need Theresa May's helping hand

The letter: Restaurants need Theresa May’s helping hand

We know Theresa May appreciates the contribution of the hospitality industry but we are not sure the Government understands the commercial pressures we face. We pay millions of pounds in VAT, business rates, national insurance and other taxes. In other countries, taxes are cut for the hospitality sector.

The weak pound has led to food costs increasing by about 5%. Those of us with central London sites have seen rents soar and an increase of 30-40% in business rates. Our industry is also penalised because restaurants and pubs have to charge 20% VAT. We want to tell the PM of the anxiety over our sector if we lose significant numbers of our teams, many of whom come from Europe. We want her to consider a reduction in VAT, extending transitional relief on business rates or reducing national insurance contributions.

John Vincent, CEO and co-founder, Leon
Henry Dimbleby, co-founder, London Union
Jonathan Downey, co-founder, London Union 
Mark Selby and Thomasina Miers, co-founders, Wahaca
Luke Johnson, chairman, Patisserie Holdings
Steve Richards, CEO, Casual Dining Group
Robin Rowland, CEO, Yo! Sushi
Gerry Ford, CEO, Caffè Nero
David Campbell, CEO, Wagamama
Jens Hofma, CEO, Pizza Hut Restaurants
Simon Kossoff, co-founder, Carluccios
Richard Hodgson, CEO, PizzaExpress
Chaker Hanna, CEO, Levant Group
Andy McCue, CEO, The Restaurant Group PLC
Jeremy Roberts, CEO, Living Ventures
James Horler, CEO, 3Sixty Restaurants Ltd
Jason Myers, CEO, Busaba Eathai
Chris Hill, CEO, New World Trading Company
Nick Collins, CEO, Loungers
Alex Reilley, co-founder, Loungers
Ajith Jayawickrema, founder and director, Turtle Bay Restaurants
Richard Bigg, managing director, Camino

Related topics: Legislation

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