According to the 2019 haysmacintyre UK Hospitality Index, 90% of respondents are confident about the future of their own businesses. However, the chartered accounting firm found that the view of the wider industry was less upbeat, with only 39% of those questioned positive about the outlook for the sector as whole.
Amid top concerns is the availability of labour and overall impact of Brexit. This year, 83% of respondents said they think Brexit will impact negatively on their ability to recruit staff, compared to 77% in 2018.
‘It’s undeniable that conditions have been challenging for the hospitality sector this year,’ said Gareth Ogden, partner in the hospitality team at haysmacintyre. ‘The effect of Brexit on consumer demand and food costs is causing anxiety, but it is the uncertainty over the availability of staff which is having the greatest impact.’
Ogden said that despite these headwinds, and whilst turnover predictions are still markedly down on the heights of five years ago, the sector remains resilient.
‘Pubs, bars and restaurants are constantly improving what they offer customers, and responding positively to changing lifestyle choices and the drive for sustainable practises,’ he added.
The survey also highlighted the burden of business rates, with 80% of respondents calling on the Government for reform of the business rates system.
The 2019 haysmacintyre UK Hospitality Index includes responses from 41 operators, a number of whom were managing multiple sites, while others were single-site businesses.