Coronavirus: Pandemic ‘puts 15,000 hospitality jobs at risk’

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One in seven pubs/bars are at risk of permanent closure according to the research

More than 15,000 jobs in hospitality are at risk because of the coronavirus lockdown, according to research.

Hospitality Ulster and accountancy firm BDO say the sector expects to lose more than £1bn turnover this year alone.

They also say that one in four businesses may never reopen.

Restaurants, pubs and hotels have closed their doors because of the government lockdown and it’s not yet clear when they will be able to open again.

But new research warns many businesses may never open again with 40% of restaurants, 25% of hotels and one in seven pubs or bars at risk of permanent closure.

Overall that would mean the loss of one in four hospitality businesses, which is about 440 businesses and one in three jobs (15,800).

Social distancing challenges

This research is based on the assumption that businesses will be closed until the end of August and when they do open, they will have to reduce their capacity by 33%.

When restaurants and pubs are legally allowed to open, challenges remain on social distancing.

Many businesses say that reducing the number of customers for example is not financially sustainable.

Lots of businesses have received support either from Stormont grants or the jobs retention scheme, but costs remain, including things like rent and utilities.

Concerns have also been raised by those in the industry around consumer confidence and whether the public will feel safe and comfortable going out as often if they are concerned about risk.

Hospitality Ulster has developed a 12-point plan for recovery and wants to work alongside government to come up with an approach that keeps staff and customers safe.

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