Brexit pain grows in Scottish hospitality industry
BREXIT is having an increasingly negative impact on the Scottish hospitality trade, a new survey has found.
The number of outlets reporting an adverse effect from Brexit has grown from 17 per cent at Christmas to 28% by the middle of the year, the survey by the Scottish Licensed Trade Association found.
However, the SLTA also found 56% of outlets surveyed reported their business as growing or stable.
It said the Women’s World Cup helped drive a sales boost in 15% of outlets surveyed.
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The SLTA said its half-year on-trade market review, backed by KPMG UK, contains key insights on Scotland’s food and drink sector.
Colin Wilkinson, managing director of the SLTA, said the survey covers all types of licensed premises and is an indicator of the key challenges facing the wide range of small to large businesses which trade within the wider hospitality sector.
He said that “there are concerns, particularly around Brexit”.
“In our Christmas survey, 17% of respondents said that Brexit had negatively impacted upon them, and this number has increased to 28%.
“Looking forward, however, retailers are overall optimistic about their sector, with 72% anticipating growth or stability in the rest of 2019, with growth led by Scottish gin, online bookings and craft beers.’’
The survey is based on research from 500 outlets across the country and is supported by major chains, independent operators and partners in the Scottish Bartenders Network, the SLTA said.
Alistair McAlinden, head of hospitality and leisure at KPMG, said: “Whilst Brexit uncertainty persists, and regulation remains a key challenge, it is more crucial than ever for operators to proactively and regularly review contingency plans, including taking appropriate advice at an early stage. Focus and caution must be borne in mind.”