Restaurant chains are under pressure from rising costs and competition amid a downturn in consumer spending. Just yesterday, it was revealed that Jamie Oliver has been forced to close his flagship Barbecoa restaurant because of rising debt.
The celebrity chef isn’t the only restauranteur suffering. Latest figures show the number of UK restaurants going bust was up by a fifth in 2017. There were nearly 1,000 insolvencies in 2017 compared with 825 the year before, according to law firm Moore Stephens.
Challenges have increased for restauranteurs because of the rise in the legal minimum wage and the fall in the value of the pound. This has increased the price of food and equipment for restaurant owners as well as making eating-out a less attractive option for customers. It’s also predicted that fewer Europeans coming to the UK following the Brexit vote outcome has meant lower availability of staff.
What about independent restaurants?
If the larger chains are struggling, then the picture is unlikely to be rosy for independent restauranteurs that operate without the same level of notoriety or marketing budgets. No-shows have been revealed as one of the biggest strains on finances for this sector.
Now a #StopNoShow campaign has been launched in an effort to stop restaurants losing out on thousands due to customers booking a table unnecessarily. The campaign by Damian Wawrzyniak, owner of House of Feasts in Peterborough has received the support of hundreds of restaurant owners.
Head of Businesscomparison.com, Philip Brennan says cash flow is a major issue for those in the restaurant trade:
“Restaurant owners have a tough enough time when it comes to maintaining cash flow in this very competitive industry. The warning signs are there for all to see with major restaurant chains feeling the financial pressure. Something as seemingly small as customer no-shows can have a detrimental impact on restaurant finances that may, ultimately lead to them having to shut down for good.”
“Small businesses are cruicial our economy, they provide 60 per cent of all private sector employment in the UK and have a combined annual turnover of £1.9 trillion. We’ve worked hard to raise awareness of alternative finance for small and medium sized businesses. Asset and invoice finance can really help prop up these types of businesses. However, as consumers we must also take responsibility for not letting these independent businesses down by remaining loyal when times are tough.”