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Business leaders optimistic about next 12 months

Published:  15 July, 2021

A majority of business leaders now feel optimistic about market prospects for the next 12 months, while consumers are increasingly confident about going out, according the latest Future Shock report from CGA and UK Hospitality (UKH).

The report, which highlights the pandemic’s impact on the sector and analyses the recovery since April’s reopening, shows mounting optimism about the future, with four in five (79%) of business leaders stating they now feel optimistic about market prospects for the next 12 months. 

Moreover, it also shows that consumers are increasingly confident about visiting the on-trade. 

However, it also highlights strong headwinds facing hospitality in the recovery period, on staff recruitment, rising costs, high debt levels, tax burdens and more, while reiterating that the industry needs sustained support on a range of challenges following a devastating 16 months.

The report estimates that the pandemic has resulted in Britain’s hospitality sector losing sales worth more than £80bn in just 12 months and prompted the permanent closure of almost 10,000 licensed premises.   

“Hospitality is a fragile sector after 16 months of impinged trading, but true to the very nature of hospitality, many of our business leaders are nevertheless optimistic about the future as this report demonstrates,” said Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKH

“The pandemic has highlighted the incredible value of our industry, not only economically but also for our communities, the workforce and our social and mental well-being. There is no doubt it will be a rough recovery but UKH will be working with the government, industry stakeholders and our members to gain support from government and reduce any unnecessary red tape or burdensome legislation so we have a conducive operating environment to aid a fruitful return to pre-pandemic trading levels,” she said. 

Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director for hospitality operators and food, EMEA, added: “This edition of Future Shock comes at a crucial turning point for hospitality. Covid-19 has inflicted massive damage on our sector, closing thousands of businesses, wrecking hundreds of thousands of jobs and wiping out billions of pounds in sales, and we will feel the effects of the pandemic for years to come. 

“But as restrictions wind down, our research points to plenty of reasons to be optimistic – not least from the release of the latent demand for the special experiences that only hospitality can provide. Our sector is well placed to drive economic recovery and mend the UK’s damaged social fabric, but it can only do that if it gets proper and sustained support from government across a host of urgent issues.”