Boozers face closure as landlords say Brits aren’t going to the pub at Christmas

  • Bookmark
  • Join the Secret Elves for exclusive news on the year’s best gifts

    Join the Secret Elves for exclusive news on the year’s best gifts

    We have more newsletters

    Britain's boozers could be in trouble as cash-strapped drinkers aren't spending their hard-earned money in the pub, according to new research.

    The cost of living crisis has hit both consumers' and businesses' coffers and means fewer of us are going to our local watering holes in the run-up to Christmas. The festive season usually brings a boost to the nation's drinking spots but after a challenging year for landlords, many haven't seen the much-needed cashflow they typically would around this time of year.

    Ricky Graham, owner of Crown Hotel in Newton Stewart, said: "To be completely honest it has been absolutely brutal. From the back end of October until now, we’ve seen at least a drop by half week-on-week over the last 6 weeks.

    READ MORE: Work pals thought they scooped £800m on Lottery – but their dreams came crashing down

    "In the last year, the cost of living alongside the price increases of products and services has had a major impact on my business. And then we'll have another minimum wage increase in April next year."

    Insurer Simply Business found some 54% of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are facing the prospect of closing up shop, putting plans on hold or will see business owners forced to find another job if the festive period doesn't bring some financial respite. This includes many of the nation's independent pubs.

    Among their top concerns were rising costs and inflation, not being able to pay the bills and a negative change in consumer confidence and spending. Many pub owners have been forced to up their prices, but fear they'll price customers out of visiting if food and drink becomes even more expensive.

    Join the Daily Star's WhatsApp for the sexiest headlines, showbiz gossip and lots more

    The Daily Star is now on WhatsApp and we want you to join us!

    Through the app, we'll send you the sassiest showbiz stories, some naught headline and a seismic smattering of aliens…along with the latest breaking news of course.

    To join our community, all you have to do to join is click on this link, select 'Join Chat' and you're in!

    No one will be able to see who has sign up and no one can send messages except for the Daily Star team. We also treat our community members to competitions, special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners.

    If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. To leave our community click on the name at the top of your screen and choose Exit group. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice.


    Ben William, owner of The George & Dragon in Much Wenlock, said: "We’re reluctant to keep increasing prices as we don’t want to price customers out of visiting. The situation with utilities is well documented and we feel the government needs to do more to support hospitality businesses.

    "Staffing for skilled team members is hard! We’re a chef down and haven’t been able to find a suitable candidate so have reduced our offering and made the menu simpler. We haven’t seen a festive uplift yet, with school term coming to an end we’re hoping to see more of an uplift once people are in holiday mode."

    Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, chimed in: "A robust Christmas trading period has the potential to serve as a much-needed tonic for the UK's pubs who have been dealt a very challenging hand in 2023, especially with heightened energy costs and business rates. As four in five SME owners stress how important it is to support small businesses over Christmas – we encourage consumers to think about their local pubs when planning social festivities this December.

    "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local communities, and with over five million of them in the UK, together they contribute trillions of pounds to the economy. They are quite simply the backbone of the economy and need our support now more than ever."

    For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

    • Pubs
    • Christmas

    Source: Read Full Article