Almost 23k hospitality firms lost since 2020

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Stark figures: almost 23,000 firms lost since December 2022 (Credit: Getty/onfilm)
Stark figures: almost 23,000 firms lost since December 2022 (Credit: Getty/onfilm)

Related tags ukhospitality Legislation Property Finance

Close to 23,000 licensed businesses across the sector have closed in the last three years, figures from the latest Hospitality Market Monitor have revealed.

The data, from CGA by NIQ and AlixPartners, showed 22,859 venues had shut their doors for good since December 2020, with 6,000 having closed in 2023 alone.

Additionally, the number of new openings across the sector was in decline for the third year in a row, according to the monitor, with just 11,743 during this period.

Commenting on the statistics, UKHospitality (UKH) chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “These stark closure figures underline the seismic challenges facing hospitality businesses. It is now a case of supporting the sector or losing many businesses for good.

Vital assets 

“Endless price rises and an ever-growing tax burden has left businesses on a cliff-edge and deterred investment."

Moreover, Nicholls claimed venues had been left with “no choice” but to use cash reserves to pay bills and wages instead of “investing in and growing” their businesses.

“This is unsustainable. Cities, towns and villages are being robbed of vital assets that are essential to our local economies, but more importantly to the wellbeing of local communities", she continued. 

Number of closures 

Number of new openings

Dec 20 to Dec 21: 7,881

Dec 20 to Dec 21: 4,532

Dec 21 to Dec 22: 8,798

Dec 21 to Dec 22: 3,989

Dec 22 to Dec 23: 6,180

Dec 22 to Dec 23: 3,222

Total closures since Dec 20: 22,859

Total openings since Dec 20: 11,743

In the wake of these figures, the trade body laid out three “critical asks” of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ahead of the Spring Budget in March.

UKH urged Hunt to implement a 3% cap on business rates, stating the proposed 6.7% increase would increase the number of business failures, as well as a temporary change to employer National Insurance contributions to 10%.

Perilous situation 

Furthermore, the industry body claimed lowering the rate of VAT for the sector to 12.5% would be “the single greatest catalyst for growth in hospitality”.

Nicholls added: “With the right action from Government, this can be a short-term blip and the sector can fulfil its potential in driving economic growth, attracting investment and creating jobs.

“Measures to help reduce business rates and wage bills will help businesses immediately, while a lower rate of VAT will benefit the nation, businesses and consumers for decades to come.

“I urge the Chancellor to recognise the perilous situation that lay in front of him and act now to protect businesses that truly deliver back to communities, in every part of the country.”


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