Editor: Now Covid is out the way, we should all be fine… but wait.

PW260822_closed due to staff shortage_shutterstock_2077707760_cred Michael Vi

Source: Shutterstock / Michael Vi

The cost-of-living crisis has driven inflation to its highest level in 60 years. We are dealing with a rise in mortgage costs that wages cannot seem to match. The summer holiday season is dominated by cancelled flights and queuing chaos. Food costs are rising and a pint of beer is now £8 in London. Meanwhile, hospitality staff are nowhere to be seen. Consequently, we are in a new era of chaos that is stretching across industries in every direction.

Although sales for many groups have now returned to pre-pandemic levels, profit is being eaten up by spiralling costs, the most damaging being the five-fold increase in energy prices. Cash is running out, rent levels remain high and rates need paying.

Those who are seeking a quick cash injection are looking to exit sites, yet are the very same people who would have paid huge premiums to acquire new locations only three years ago.

The positivity of staycations is now dwindling as the rising cost of accommodation is driving people to make a choice between good value and experience, with little room to enjoy the growing hospitality and leisure scene.

And government grants have disappeared, leaving little to no support; it surely won’t be long before operators start falling over. We thought we were witnessing a bleak picture two years ago, but today’s outlook appears much worse.

We need a VAT cut, more grants and a rates holiday. We need help from the government, but what’s happening at Westminster? The Conversative Party leadership contest has Rishi and Liz at one another’s throats, Boris is AWOL and the current landscape of our country couldn’t seem less of a priority right now.

The hospitality sector needs help, and it needs it now. This is urgent; it’s our sector’s moment of need. We have demonstrated time and again our ability to keep going, but this time it’s different. Please don’t let us down.

Nick Weir, joint managing partner, Shelley Sandzer