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A hospitality chief has warned that today's Tory leadership election will tell over half the pubs and restaurants in the UK whether or not they will be closing down.
Tom Hatton the founder ofBottomlessBrunch, which works with hundreds of independent pubs and restaurants across the country, said the hospitality industry is holding its breath to discover how the new Prime Minister will help it out.
Speaking to the Daily Star, he said he’s seen his bookings drop 50% from May to June of this year due to the many factors putting strain on people’s wallets stopping them from heading out as much.
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Now, with the news that pubs are facing huge increases in their energy bills, thousands of them are looking down the barrel of closure.
The total number of active pubs in the UK slipped below 40,000 for the first time on record in July anda study has saidthat 70% are worried about staying open over the winter.
Tom said they need “crystal clear guidance” on what the support from the government will be, which industry bosses hope will finally be given when a new Prime Minister is announced.
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“It’s the fact that we are waiting on the new leader to be appointed to let us know how they're going to deal with this crisis.
“Whatever comes out next week people will put it into a spreadsheet say right, can we keep the lights on?”
He believes that once people have run those numbers, the decision on whether or not you stay open will be made, adding that as a business a owner you have “a duty” to “act in the best interest and your creditors.
“If you don’t have a clear understanding how you are going to survive until next year you have got to close your business.
“It’s kind of the law.
“So I think that everyone in the industry is holding on to what is going to happen next week."
For him, hospitality “never really recovered from Covid”, but added that next week will be the pivotal moment where establishments will finally know if they are closing or not.
“Of the 350 sites we operate and work with there's a good chance around half of them will have to shut up shop.”
He said that you “can’t pass [the cost increases being applied to venues] on any more than they already have been to diners.”
He thinks half of the pubs in the UK could close “for sure”, unless “something happens on Monday [with the announcement of the new Prime Minister].”
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