Coronation set to crown a great weekend for hospitality - but is earning a king’s ransom the solution to the sector's woes?
Although the weather looks like it will be distinctly average in the coming days, this weekend could be a great one for the hospitality sector with the additional bank holiday for the King's Coronation providing an boost for pubs, restaurants and hotels across the country.
It’s an important shot in the arm for the sector which on the back of the pandemic has been struggling due to the cost of living crisis, rising energy bills, and inflation. This has had a particularly negative impact on smaller, independent businesses, with the recent news that Black Sheep Brewery is due to go into administration being a stark reminder of the challenges that are faced.
According to Barclays SME Barometer, small and medium-size businesses are expected to see average revenues increase 10% this quarter year-on-year due to the Coronation weekend. Additional data from Barclaycard Payments highlight that 40% of hospitality businesses expect the Coronation weekend to provide a welcome boost sales - no doubt helped by third of businesses wishing to take advantage of the additional licensing hours across on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Let's not get carried away though. This is an important opportunity for pubs, restaurants and hotels but we shouldn't allow this inevitable boost in sales in May to gloss over the challenges that the sector faces.
The cost of living crisis, rising energy bills, and inflation are all still having a significant impact on the hospitality sector, and although I don’t think anyone sees this extra bank holiday as a panacea for the sector's woes, there’s a danger that the bigger issues are ignored whilst looking at what appears to be stronger year-on-year sales figures.
I have said before that the sector is one of the most creative and resilient in the UK. Although this Coronation weekend goes long way to protecting its survival, it’s vital that the sector continues to be supported in order to ensure its long-term sustainability.
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As final preparations get underway ahead of the festivities, two in five (40 per cent) of hospitality businesses expect the Coronation weekend to provide a welcome boost to sales.
This in part, is helped by a third of businesses who want to take advantage of the additional licensing hours across the Friday, Saturday, Sunday of the Coronation weekend from 11pm -1am. Furthermore, a quarter (25 per cent) of SMEs in the hospitality sector expect to see an increase in support for their business from the local community.”