A troubling survey commissioned by trade publication the Morning Advisor revealed the entire British pub industry could be on the brink of a tsunami of closures this winter if the government fails to intervene in power markets to ease cost pressures.
According to the survey, 70% of respondents say if electricity prices continue to soar, they will be unable to operate and forced to close up shop — this would dramatically alter the landscape of pubs by next spring.
More than 65% of the pubs surveyed said power costs rose more than 100%, 30% said utility costs jumped 200%, and 8% experienced 500% increases. Most pubs warned they couldn’t afford the exponential rise in energy costs.
Heath Ball, managing director of the Frisco Group, which operates three pubs across the southeast of England, offered an apocalyptic warning that pubs were facing a “doomsday scenario” in just a few months when the cold season begins.
“This energy bill crisis comes on the back of the most testing of times as businesses try to recover from the Covid crisis and I think it poses an even greater threat to the survival of pubs,” Ball told the Morning Advertiser.
He even said some pubs were being rejected new power contacts because utilities deemed them “high risk.” Ball said lawmakers need to resolve the energy crisis soon or “find a solution to this now or face mass pub and restaurant closures.”