British pubs and restaurants open today, but the entire industry already paid a heavy toll

Nearly 10 percent of restaurants in the United Kingdom have gone bankrupt since the coronavirus epidemic hit last spring, a joint survey of business and professional consultancy firms presented by AlixPartners and CGA on Sunday showed, meaning after the industry’s full reopening on Monday, a significantly smaller number of restaurants, bars and pubs will be available than in March last year.

In the UK, from Monday, restaurants, pubs and bars will be able to open their indoor service rooms. The easing also allows the opening of cinemas, theaters, concert halls, museums and stadiums, hotels, and other tourist accommodations in the country.

According to the survey, bankruptcies have hit restaurants the hardest within each category: 4,204 restaurants have closed permanently. This means that 9.7 percent of UK restaurants have closed since March last year. Within the average, the loss was even more severe among restaurants that belonged to the mid-priced, “average” market sector and thus attracted the most populous audience: 19.4 percent of restaurants in this category — almost a fifth — went bankrupt.

According to the survey, the number of British establishments specializing mainly in the distribution of alcoholic beverages — namely pubs and bars — has fallen from 61,229 to 57,783 since March 2020, meaning that 5.6 percent of them have disappeared over the more than one year since the epidemic began.

In line with the opening schedule of the British government, the previous easing of restrictions was on April 12 when restaurants were allowed to open their terraces and garden areas to the public. However, according to a survey published by AlixPartners and the CGA on Sunday, less than a third of British restaurants — 32.9 percent — had such facilities, meaning that more than two-thirds of restaurants and pubs remained closed until today. Thus, the recovery process in the hospitality sector can only really start after the full opening from today, states the study.

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