The long road to recovery for Glos pubs
This year has been tough for hospitality, and the first half of 2021 won’t be easy either.
Glos pubs were working to find a way to reopen safely. This involved a lot of planning and cost. Then we opened, and I think we were all very pleasantly surprised at the response of the Great Gloucestershire public. Almost from the first hour, we knew it was going to be okay.
The positivity and enthusiasm from pub-goers gave the sector, a much-needed boost, which lasted until early October. There was some hope that the worst would be over by the end of the year.
Since then, the hospitality industry has had an exceedingly difficult time. With so much effort to make their environments safe, there is a feeling across the sector that pubs and restaurants have been unfairly scapegoated and penalised. Neame laments the lack of clarity in the government’s strategy since restrictions started to come in.
The second lockdown, in particular, hit hospitality particularly hard. The fact that we are now back under tiered restrictions has put the following six months under a shadow.
ESB Accountancy calls for an extension of measures such as the 5% VAT rate for hospitality businesses and cancellation of business rates through to the end of 2021 and early 2022. It will be exceedingly tough for the industry, and job losses and insolvencies are likely.
Though the tunnel looks dark, there is a light at the end of it. The successful creation of coronavirus vaccines has raised hopes of an end to the virus early next year. The expectation is that, once restrictions ease, people will want to go out and socialise, and hospitality businesses will be ready for them.
Online sales are also strong, and the many companies have done a lot of work to build its profile and build a reputation among new customers. “No question that when we did reopen in the summer, we were attracting customers that we hadn’t seen before.
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