The COVID-19 pandemic has had long-lasting impacts on the hospitality industry, and now professional services are working together to help rebuild the sector. Although it’s a challenging time for the industry, Allan Merchant, Director at Pub Experts remains positive in his outlook on keeping businesses thriving. Allan has recently celebrated his 28th work anniversary with Pub Experts, which is a testament to the wealth of experience he has dedicated to the hospitality industry.
Allan reflects on his own hands-on approach to stock auditing and analysing the overheads of his clients, sharing how professional services can help get the hospitality sector back to where it was:
“Despite the difficulties, the trade is very much still there for pubs and other hospitality businesses, which we saw throughout a reassuringly steady festive period. This reminds us that people are going to carry on going out. After months of lockdowns, it’s become clear that visiting a local pub is a release for people; it’s a time to relax, catch up with friends and escape from everyday life.
“Going forward, the best piece of advice I could offer is for business owners to stay in control of their overheads. This is where it is valuable to work with a specialist accountant, who understands the trade. Having access to a clear view of their business with onsite reporting and evaluation means the client is able to stay in control of their profits and losses from month to month, so their business remains profitable.”
There are still a number of challenges that the industry faces, as costs continue to rise unprecedentedly. Energy bills have increased by five times what they once were, whilst wholesale food and drink prices are rising week on week. However, specialist accountants have the market understanding to help their clients through this, such as identifying ways to minimise wastage, and finding alternative cost-effective wholesale providers, ensuring that Publicans can regain control of their outgoings.
Governmental support has remained consistent throughout and beyond the pandemic. Since 1st April 2022 and until 31st March 2023, businesses in the hospitality sector have been eligible for 50% discount on their business rates, but many have found that this just isn’t enough. The 2023/24 hospitality scheme is expected to provide the industry with an increased relief of up to 75%, which we anticipate to give the sector a much-needed boost.
Hospitality recruitment has become increasingly difficult since the pandemic, so business owners are working harder than ever not only to make ends meet, but also to manage their workload. The services of an accountant can relieve clients from some of their added pressures.
We remain hopeful that with the support of professional services, the hospitality sector can continue to bounce back as one of the nation’s leading industries.