59% of operators trading at a loss

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Sales results: just under 60% are not trading profitably at present, according to an industry survey (image: Getty/Hakinmhan)
Sales results: just under 60% are not trading profitably at present, according to an industry survey (image: Getty/Hakinmhan)

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Just four in 10 operators are now trading at profit or expect to be doing so by the end of June, one industry survey has found.

The latest Business Confidence Survey from CGA and Fourth also quizzed respondents on their levels of confidence about the sector.

Some 79% were optimistic about prospects for the eating and drinking out market – a level which hasn’t been reached since February 2015 and a significant rise from October (18%) and February (50%).

A slightly higher (83%) number said they were optimistic about the prospects of their own business over the next 12 months.

Encouraging to see

More than half (58%) of leaders rating their performance since outdoor trading was permitted last month (Monday 12 April) as ahead of their expectations with 8% saying it was below expectations.

CGA director of hospitality operators and food, EMEA Karl Chessell said: “After the immense challenges of 2020 and early 2021, it is very encouraging to see confidence levels riding so high across the managed sector.

“The figures are testament to the resilience of operators and the enduring appeal of restaurants, pubs and bars to consumers and we can be optimistic sales will follow confidence in bouncing back strongly this summer.

“There’s no escaping the fact Covid-19 has taken a massive toll on hospitality, with thousands of businesses closing for good and many more still in a precarious position.

“The road to recovery could be long and uneven and the sector is going to need sustained support on challenges like rent, rates and recruitment.”

Challenging labour market

Fourth managing director EMEA Sebastien Sepierre said it was encouraging to see optimism levels increase among business leaders.

He added: “This positivity is tempered somewhat by the challenging labour market, with many operators struggling to recruit in the current climate as the demand for workers accelerates with the easing of restrictions.

“As the industry slowly returns to full capacity, the recruitment challenge will be further exacerbated, so it’s never been more important for businesses to look at driving efficiencies and productivity in their management of labour.”

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