UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “These figures not only show the importance of the hospitality sector to the UK economy, even in the severely restricted and beleaguered state it was in during the second quarter of this year, but also demonstrate its real potential to power a wider economic recovery now trading restrictions have finally been eased after almost 18 months.
“However, this was not a period characterised by booming sales and plain sailing for the sector, but many weeks where businesses were still operating under strict restrictions and experienced a multitude of challenges brought about by the pandemic. What should be remembered is that the sector collectively lost over £100 billion in sales across the course of the pandemic – a truly staggering figure.”
Ms Nicholls added: “To help safeguard the future of the sector and its recovery, we urge the government to continue to work closely with businesses to help them navigate the challenges that we will undoubtedly face in the months ahead and to create a business landscape that will help return businesses to profitability as quickly as possible. Measures we are calling for include the urgently needed reform of business rates and a permanently lowered rate of VAT.”