Soaring temperatures, sporting must-sees and rising costs – the summer heatwave is causing a massive headache for restaurant and bar owners across the country.
Deborah Lockwood, a director of Sheffield insolvency and business turnaround specialist Graywoods, says summer 2018 has created a perfect storm of factors that are contributing to a major downturn in the hospitality sector.
“The simple truth is that the effects of the stifling temperatures are causing many people to stay at home and fire up the barbecue, leaving many restaurants in the soup as a result,” Deborah explained.
“In addition, the rising cost of ingredients, staff wages, rent and rates are squeezing margins for many catering businesses that are already struggling to make a profit.
“Then add in major sporting events like the World Cup and Wimbledon and it becomes a recipe for disaster for some eateries.”
Deborah said that this combination of factors had led to a sharp increase in the number of restaurants approaching Graywoods for advice on their options.
“Of course the heatwave and the summer of sport are only short term problems but in a business that is already struggling with overheads, these are just the sort of factors that can prove too hard to handle.
“And at a time when even staffing levels are proving difficult to maintain it must seem tempting to think about putting up the closed sign.”
Deborah emphasised, though, that the secret to navigating a way through a crisis was to seek advice at the earliest opportunity.
“Don’t wait until the creditors are at the door demanding instant payment,” she said.
“The key is for restaurant owners to seek advice as soon as problems start to bite, as there are a range of turnaround and rescue options that are available to struggling businesses.”