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Welsh hospitality warns at least 30,000 jobs at risk

Article Date: 2020-07-08

At least 30,000 job losses are expected in the Welsh hospitality sector and almost half of those have already happened, according to a survey of over 100 businesses.

The survey was conducted out by the Welsh Independent Restaurant Collective (WIRC) on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July, and came as pubs, cafes and restaurants reopened in England, and Scotland announced that the re-opening inside will begin on July 15th

Of the 102 businesses that responded to the survey, 434 jobs had already been lost with a further 452 planned. Multiplied by the scale of the sector in Wales and the total number of jobs losses is estimated to be in excess of 30,000.

Wales remains the only UK nation yet to give a date for inside opening, with businesses allowed to operate outdoors from Monday (13 July). However, fewer than one-third (32%) of the businesses surveyed indicated they would be able to open on an outside only-basis, with a previous WIRC survey indicating most expect to generate less than 25% of their usual turnover.

In the most recent survey conducted by the WIRC, four-fifths (80%) of respondents said more than half their expenditure was spent with other Welsh businesses, with more than half of those putting that figure in excess of 75%.

Simon Wright, restaurateur, food writer, broadcaster and founding member of WIRC, said: “The sector urgently requires a date that allows us to trade indoors this summer like the rest of the UK to give us a chance to retain some employment into winter and towards next summer.

There is a rapidly disappearing window of summer opportunity as we head towards August. As a collective, we understand Welsh government doesn’t have the power to control the key levers of the economy and in that respect we ask it to redouble its efforts with the UK government on issues such as furlough, VAT and sharing the rent burden.

At the same time, we’re pressing Welsh government to understand the catastrophic collapse that’s already happening and to direct more of the resources it has to its survival.”

Fish Friers