ONS inflation figures impact on hospitality, trade: industry experts comment

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Inflation threatens the future longevity of hospitality businesses

Sam Martin, chief executive of Peckwater Brands said: “Inflation has the hospitality sector caught between a rock and a hard place. On one side, businesses are facing rising costs across their supply chains and operations. On the other side, consumers’ finances are under significant pressure, which will likely affect the amount they spend at takeaways, restaurants, pubs and bars. 

“Given that the pandemic saw more than 10,000 licensed premises lost during lockdown, with 640,000 jobs lost despite Government support, the UK cannot afford to let this situation escalate any further.

“First and foremost, the government must outline a clear plan to get the UK’s economy back on track, as well as a support plan for the hospitality sector. However, such businesses must also be prepared to think outside the box to safeguard their long-term goals. Data data-driven solutions that improve efficiency and reduce overheads, for example, could help business owners make the most of their existing resources – so too could exploring virtual brands.

“Challenges remain on the horizon for the hospitality sector. However, there are options available to the hospitality sector business leaders to take charge of their resources, and their financial circumstances. And in doing so, they may be able to weather this economic storm and safeguard their futures.”


Businesses hurting as they swallow prices to protect customers

Atul Bhakta, CEO of One World Express, a leading cross-border e-Commerce solutions provider, said: “It is no surprise to see inflation continuing to spiral. And it is important that we do not lose sight of the businesses that are struggling to strike a balance between survival and doing right by the customers.
“Indeed, One World Express’ recent research found that more than two-fifths (43%) of UK businesses are committed to not passing price rises on to consumers. Whilst a valiant initiative, doing so will likely have a massive impact on such organisations – after all, 60% of businesses anticipate their business will suffer due to inflation.

“Evidently, greater support is needed. The government must offer clarity on the path forward – affording businesses the confidence necessary to maximise their potential, while picking up the pace on new trade deals to aid in efforts to look to diversify through expansion into opportune overseas markets.

“Naturally, this is not an issue that can be resolved overnight – all of us will feel the pinch to some degree. Today’s figures underline the importance of providing clarity to businesses for the short-term, while the longer-term efforts to soothe supply chain issues and rebuild Britain’s trading capacity are undertaken.”

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