Rail strikes 'wipe out 40%' of late-night hospitality trade

24 June 2022 by
Rail strikes 'wipe out 40%' of late-night hospitality trade

The late-night hospitality industry is suffering up to a 40% loss in trade as a result of the rail strikes, according to the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

This week's three-day strike is the latest crisis to hit hotels, restaurants, bars and pubs following the pandemic, rising costs and staff shortages.

Michael Kill, chief executive of NITA, said that the sector, which includes theatres and live music venues alongside hospitality, is at "a critical point in its recovery" as it embarks on the important summer festival season.

He added: "Anger and frustration is growing, as it feels for many like they are being drawn back to business levels experienced during the Covid lockdowns. Long term strike action, will lead to an irreparable loss of business and jobs, after so much hard work has been put into recovery in the last 12 months."

London has been hit particularly hard by the strikes, with hospitality rota and payroll resources company S4labour reporting a 30% decline in business compared to last week. Sales in hospitality venues in Manchester were said to be down by 17% over the same period.

Richard Hartley, chief innovation officer at S4labour, said urban areas, where consumers rely more on public transport, have suffered badly.

"Sites near to rail stations have been hit very hard, with many reporting very low levels of trade. As strikes continue, we anticipate to see further significant hits to the industry," he said.

Some city centre pubs reported a 50% drop in sales, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said: "As an industry we really are trying hard to bounce back after the pandemic, but we are faced time and time again with new hurdles from rising costs to labour shortages and now severe transport disruption.

"It is imperative to the health of our industry that further strikes are avoided so customers and staff alike are able to travel with confidence and keep our pubs thriving."

Earlier this week, UKHospitality said that a 20% drop in sales, when a typical June sees revenues of £2.75b, would cost the hospitality sector £540m.

Hospitality venues had reported "mass cancellations" on strike days with customers unable to travel to remote locations.

Image: pcruciatti / Shutterstock

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