Britain’s boozers are facing an unprecedented crisis, pub industry bosses have warned, as new data shows a staggering 21 pubs are forced to close each week of the last year.
Energy bills have pushed many to the brink and beyond – in one recently reported case a single pub was charged almost £2100 for just 10 days of business – meaning more than 1,000 venues threw in the towel in 2023.
According to Dave Hayward, part of the Campaign for Real Ale and co-founder of craft beer supplier A Hoppy Place. “The industry has months left. After that we are going to see and absolute bloodbath”.
London has reportedly suffered the most with 98 pubs shutting, but the situation looks close to contagion with Hayward estimating that some 6,000 smaller, independent venues – those with “significantly less cash reserves” are close to following suit.
“The biggest operators will have the cash reserves, but lots of family-owned free houses, the very best community pubs, heart and souls of towns and villages up and down the country will be the ones that fail” he added.
Even Jamie Oliver’s The Cock, his former establishment in Essex, was forced to close last year due to the untenable circumstances, putting paid to the notion that invocation, gentrification, or even mega-celeb backing, can be called upon to override the simple economics.
Scale has not so far managed to absorb costs either; Wetherspoons is selling almost 50 pubs this year, and Marston’s Brewery is disposing of 61 sites.
So many of our community pubs and clubs are feeling the affects of not only obscene gas and electric price rises but they were also one of the worst hit with the forced closure due to Covid. So many pubs and clubs are important assets to our local community’s and once they go quite often never reopen! Having the latest digital fruit machines in pubs and clubs minimize electric costs and have proved to increase revenue, helping many of our customers keep making profit during these hard times.