30,000 jobs at risk, warns Welsh Independent Restaurant Collective

A survey of more than 100 independent pubs, cafes, restaurants and event caterers has estimated that at least 30,000 job losses are expected in the Welsh hospitality sector, the Welsh Independent Restaurant Collective (WRC) has warned.

The survey was carried out on 4- July, and came as pubs, cafes and restaurants reopened in England, and Scotland announced that the re-opening inside will begin on 15 July.

The survey revealed that within the 102 businesses that responded, 434 jobs had already been lost, with a further 452 planned – giving a total of 886 job losses from just that sample. Multiplied by the scale of the sector in Wales, and the total number of jobs losses is estimated to be in excess of 30,000.

On Monday, the first minister placed the Welsh hospitality sector on probation, saying that the prospect for an indoor reopening date depends on its ability to open safely in the outdoors from the 13 July.

However, only 32% of the businesses surveyed last weekend indicated that they will be able to open on an outside only-basis, with a previous WIRC survey indicating that most expect to generate less than 25% of their usual turnover.

The WRC said that, essentially, there will be “very few” hospitality businesses in Wales who will even be able to cover their opening costs on the current ‘outside only’ basis that has been outlined.

Simon Wright, restaurateur, food writer, broadcaster and founding member of the Welsh Independent Restaurant Collective, said: “The sector urgently requires a date that allows us to trade indoors this summer  – like the rest of the UK – to give us a chance to retain some employment into Winter 2020/21 and towards summer 2021.  There is a rapidly disappearing window of summer opportunity as we head towards August.”

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