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More than 30,000 pubs and restaurants to stay shut post-coronavirus

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New poll suggests pandemic is final nail in coffin for many hospitality businesses

One-Minute Read James Ashford
Friday, May 22, 2020 - 3:38pm

More than 30,000 UK pubs and restaurants will remain closed after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, a new hospitality industry survey suggests.

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The sector has been one of the hardest hit by the outbreak, with pubs throwing away beer and restaurants forced to shut their doors or transition into takeaways in order maintain an income.

And “experts predict a high proportion of restaurants won’t make it through to the other side of the Covid-19 crisis”, says The Telegraph.

Many were already “having a tough time” before the pandemic, with “about 2,800 bars and restaurants closed down in the 12 months before the lockdown began”, reports The Guardian.

The 2.4% fall in the number of licensed premises in the year to the end of March was recorded by the CGA AlixPartners market recovery monitor, which now expects the decline to worsen once the hospitality sector begins to reopen at the start of July,” the newspaper continues. 

The grim prediction comes after a third of hospitality business owners told CGA’s latest business confidence survey that they anticipated permanently closing sites.

Phil Tate, group chief executive at the research consultancy, said: “Industry estimates of the scale of closures vary widely, from below 10% to as high as 30% of total sites.”

A separate recent survey of British Beer and Pub Association members found that almost 19,000 out of the UK’s 47,000 boozers may not reopen.

Pubs and restaurants are among the so-called “higher-risk businesses and public places” that must remain closed until the beginning of July at the earliest, under the government’s latest guidance.

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Casual Dining Group (CDG), owner of restaurant brands including Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas, this week announced that the company has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators at the High Court, “putting the future of 6,000 workers in doubt”, reports the Daily Mirror.

A CDG spokesperson said: “This is an unprecedented situation for our industry and, like many other companies across the UK, the directors of Casual Dining Group are working closely with our advisers as we consider our next steps.”

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