The Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners revealed just under 89% of all known hospitality venues in the UK were open by the end of last month (June), leaving 11,928 closed.
However, it is thought these businesses will be able to reopen next week when laws are relaxed and measures such as mandatory table service and the rule of six become advisory.
The report found almost a third (31.2%) of large and late-night venues and nearly a quarter (22.9%) of sports and social clubs were still closed at the end of June.
It also showed in net terms, the sector has lost about 25 hospitality venues a day since June last year. This means at the end of June 2021, Britain had about 106,000 licensed venues – more than 9,000 premises fewer than the total number in June last year – equating to an 8% contraction of the market in a year.
CGA director for hospitality operators and food EMEA Karl Chessell said: “After a hugely difficult 16 months for hospitality and an unwelcome extra four-week delay until ‘freedom day’, it will be a huge relief to see many more sites open.
“But with so many venues still closed and restrictions still in place, it will be a very anxious wait to see how many are able to reopen.
“Hospitality has already lost more than 9,000 sites during the Covid-19 crisis and sustained Government support is essential to prevent further damage.”
Summer of difficulties
Research indicated hospitality industry sales were broadly modest this year with many firms struggling with rising costs, staff shortages and fragile consumer confidence.
AlixPartners director Craig Rachel said: “While ‘freedom day’ will be welcomed by many operators in the late-night market, it certainly does not signal the end of the challenges for those businesses and the wider sector.
“Operators face a summer of dealing with recruitment difficulties and staff absences due to self-isolation, combined with the tapering away of Government support and tackling huge levels of debt.
“It promises to be a long road to recovery for hospitality.”