BDO’s annual ‘Restaurants and Bars Report’ has found that despite the tough trading conditions, the restaurant, pub and bar sector continued to attract investment in 2020.
According to the group, interest from investors was judged by the fact that the eventual loosening of lockdown restrictions and a successful vaccine roll-out would help drive economic recovery.
In addition, it was discovered that M&A activity in the sector during the year was dominated by distressed transactions as Covid-19 “caused restaurant and bar values to drop significantly”.
It is believed that this led a number of investors to “expand their presence in the market”, attracted by the prospect of a reduced competitor landscape, better rental terms and the emergence of new sales channels to consumers.
Mark Edwards, partner and head of the restaurants and bars sector at BDO LLP, said:“The government support schemes have provided a much-needed lifeline to restaurants and bars during 2020, but this support must be prolonged and extended not just for front line operators but to the vital supply chain they depend on.
“There is no denying that the next few months are going to be incredibly difficult for the hospitality sector but for those that can survive, there will be opportunities to stabilise and prosper once the lockdown lifts.”