The data, analysed by British hospitality software start-ups Stampede and Storekit, showed the sector had been resilient amid recent adversity as there were more UK hospitality businesses than before the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Stampede founder and CEO Patrick Clover said: “We analysed the data expecting the worst and would’ve been buoyed just to see hospitality business numbers stay the same.
“To see the numbers, go up since Covid first struck is phenomenal, it’s a great reflection of the resilience and excellence we see every day in the UK hospitality sector.
“Unfortunately, we worked through another deeply precarious situation as Covid case numbers continued to rise, while the Government did little to support hospitality businesses during the festive season.”
In 2019, Stampede research revealed the number of pubs and bars in the UK had increased for the first time in a decade, while the wider hospitality sector was also in good shape.
There are now more registered hospitality businesses in the UK today than in March 2019 or March 2020, according to ONS data based on Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes 5601, 5602, 5603, 56210, 56290, 56301, 56302, which cover restaurants, takeaways, cafes, mobile food stands, catering businesses, clubs, pubs, and bars registered to Companies House.
In less positive news, there was a decline in the number of UK pubs, bars, and clubs between 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021.
This is the continuation of a decade long downward trend, despite a small surge in 2019, but the steep net loss of 1,300 pubs between 2019 and 2021 have been noticeable, drinks-focused businesses such as pubs, bars and clubs suffered more from covid restrictions than restaurants.
Tough few months
Storekit CEO Christophe Delacroix said: “This research shows how much the sector has changed and matured over the last two years, especially in regard to the adoption of technology.
“I have no doubt the ways businesses operated safely during the pandemic would not have been possible 10-15 years ago when the outcome of the pandemic could’ve been a lot bleaker for the sector.
“That being said, with continued uncertainty, home-working and low footfall there's no denying the industry is facing an extremely tough few months.”