Rate rises and Brexit could hit restaurants

Chief executives of several London restaurants have warned of the impact increased business rates, taxes, Brexit and the weaker Sterling could have on the hospitality sector.

In a letter to the Standard earlier this week, heads of large restaurant chains including Leon, Wagamama, Pizza Express, Wahaca, Yo! Sushi and Carluccio’s called on the government to help the restaurant industry, suggesting measures including a reduction in VAT and an extension of transitional relief on business rates.

Business rates is a key concern, with some of the 23 signatories saying their businesses are facing 50 per cent increases when new valuations are phased in from April 2017.

“We employ hundreds of thousands of people and pay millions in VAT, business rates, National Insurance and other taxes. In other countries, taxes are lowered for the hospitality sector in recognition of the foreign earnings it brings in, offsetting trade deficits,” the letter says.

“However, in this country, we’re not sure the Government has modelled and understood the mounting, crippling commercial pressures we face and we urgently call for [Mrs May’s] support.”

The letter adds: “Finally, we want to tell the Prime Minister that there is a widespread anxiety about the fate of our sector if we lose significant numbers of our hard-working teams, many of whom come from Europe.”

At Beavis Morgan, we have extensive experience of working with clients in the hospitality sector and our professionals are acknowledged experts in issues affecting pubs, bars and restaurants.
Through our partner businesses, BM Structured Finance and BM Advisory, we are able to help with sourcing and restructuring debt finance for SME businesses, as well as assisting with resolving issues which can impact on business performance and success, and finding innovative solutions for businesses and individuals in distress.

Contact Matthew Burge or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist you and your hospitality business.