Businesses raise prices and cut trading hours as energy prices soar

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

hospitality operators are putting their prices up and reducing trading hours to counteract the massive rise in energy costs in the UK, according to a survey by UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, the British Beer & Pub Association and Hospitality Ulster

76 percent of the 300 respondents to the trade bodies' survey reported that they are reducing their gas and electricity consumption and raising their prices, while 38 percent said they have cut their trading hours as the average energy price increase has risen by 95 percent.

More than half of respondents who attempted to renegotiate their contracts with their providers were met with refusal, and the 26 percent who sought a reasonable alternative quote were unable to find one. A third were told suppliers weren't taking on contracts with hospitality businesses.

10 percent of businesses' bills have risen by 200 percent, and the trade bodies believe that the lucky 12 percent who haven't noticed much of a change are likely to be on fixed contracts.

In a statement, the trade bodies said:  “These astonishing energy price increases are a cruel blow to the thousands of hospitality businesses across the UK desperately trying to rebuild and recover some of the losses they suffered during the pandemic.

“That they should strike just as operators could see light at the end of the tunnel will be particularly painful – imagine having to hike your prices while trying to tempt customers back to your venue and being forced to open late or close early, with the subsequent loss in wages to staff. It’s truly punishing.

“It is imperative that Government takes action to support the sector – by extending the reduced rate of VAT beyond April 2022 and working with the sector to ensure that supply is guaranteed and that cost pressures are mitigated.”

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 23rd March 2022

Businesses raise prices and cut trading hours as energy prices soar