News Bites: Catch up with the latest hospitality news

In this edition of News Bites, we’ll touch on charity wins for the hospitality industry, while also discussing the ongoing effects of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis on both food and drink businesses and the farming sector.

Hospitality sees fourth month of YOY growth

The hospitality sector saw a 10.9% year-on-year sales increase in January 2023 – it’s fourth consecutive month of growth. This figure is above the current rate of inflation, and the biggest growth was in the pub sector, who saw a 12.9% increase in sales. Aul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM UK, said: “These results represent a significant turning point for the sector…and will be a welcome confidence booster to an industry that has been in desperate need of good news.”


Restaurants raise £750,000 for StreetSmart

The 2022 StreetSmart Christmas campaign gave diners the option to add a voluntary £1 to their bills – and together restaurants have raised £750,000. More than 50 UK homelessness charities will benefit from this, and funds will support housing, mental health and job advice services, as well as giving a helping hand to organisations providing safe places to sleep.


UKHospitality says some energy suppliers aren’t passing on discounts to hospitality businesses

In less good news, UKHospitality Chief Kate Nicholls has called out energy suppliers as they still aren’t passing on government discounts to restaurants, pubs and hotels that are struggling. “There are vulnerable businesses that need support right away and the biggest suppliers are not passing it through,” Nicholls said. Ofgem responded by saying it would look at where it may need to change regulations and review whether suppliers are complying with existing rules.


NFU warns that the clock is ticking on UK food security action

Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers’ Union, has warned that farmers are still being hit by labour shortages, high costs, the impact of climate change and global political turmoil. Agricultural costs have risen by almost 50% since 2019 – putting the UK’s food security in danger. To try and combat this, farming minister Mark Spencer has announced £168 million in grants for the development of new technology, improved food production and animal welfare.