SCOTLAND’S HOSPITALITY SECTOR ALREADY STRUCK BY BREXIT

Brexit has already had a negative effect on just under a fifth of Scotland’s hospitality sector. That’s according to a survey by The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA).

Its latest market review surveyed 500 outlets across Scotland and found that 17% reported issues caused by Brexit, namely fewer bookings or loss of staff.

One in four businesses also expect to lose staff due to the UK’s withdrawal from EU, with 65% expecting wider staffing issues to come.

But there’s also good news for licensees. There’s been a rise in outlets showing growth from 39% at the end of 2017 to 48% a year later. At the end of 2018 around one in six (59%) were either growing or stable and this is projected to rise to 66% by the end of 2019.

SLTA managing director Colin Wilkinson said, “After a number of years of decline, our summer report indicated a recovering market and this trend has continued over the festive period, with 69% of outlets either growing or stable at Christmas versus 59% for the whole of 2018.”

He continued, “Our members are also concerned about Brexit, with 40% anticipating losing staff with whom they have invested in training and 17% already seeing negative impacts. Looking forward, we anticipate a continued recovery in 2019 with the growth being led by food, online bookings and locally sourced gins and beers.”

Alistair McAlinder, of survey sponsors KPMG, said, “Unsurprisingly, Brexit has been cited as a key challenge, with associated staffing-related considerations of most concern. Whilst uncertainty persists, it remains unsettling for business owners and employees alike.

He continued, “In order to provide necessary practical support to staff and to minimise potential disruption, operators should seek to understand options for employees and the possible cost implications.”

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