Pubs lost £10,335 on average over Christmas

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Christmas Day trade down 60%: UKH calls on the Government to lift restrictions for the sake of the "beleaguered" hospitality sector
Christmas Day trade down 60%: UKH calls on the Government to lift restrictions for the sake of the "beleaguered" hospitality sector

Related tags: ukhospitality, Christmas, Finance

Pubs, bars, and restaurants lost £10,335 on average in the week leading up to Christmas with Christmas Day takings down 60% when compared to 2019, figures from UKHospitality (UKH) have shown.

The new figures have demonstrated how the industry’s fight to recover from the pandemic has been decimated by Omicron, with average sales almost reaching pre-pandemic levels (98%) in the weeks before the new variant emerged.

UKH CEO Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality businesses have been hit hard during a key trading period – and this is after missing out on the crucial Christmas and New Year sales last year.

Cancellations and decreased footfall in December 

“Restrictions must be kept to a minimum and must be lifted as quickly as possible to help an already beleaguered sector or many will simply not survive – and those who do make it through face a return to 20% VAT in April.”

City centre and London venues were hit particularly hard when work from home restrictions were put in place again last month with a drop in consumer confidence causing mass cancelations and a decrease in footfall over December, which often equates to up to three months’ trade for many establishments.

UKH has called for the Government to keep VAT at 12.5% for the sector and not return to 20% VAT in April after many pubs, bars and nightclubs lost out on crucial festive trade for the second year in a row.

Enhanced rates relief needed

This comes after the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed growth for the whole country in Q3 was driven by hospitality, a sector which creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer as well as representing 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP

Nicholls added: “In order to help the industry to recover and return to growth, the Government must commit to keeping VAT at 12.5% and offering enhanced rates relief. Further support will also be needed should additional restrictions be imposed or the tougher measures in Scotland and Wales be retained into 2022.”

Related topics: Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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