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Norwich research shows 22,000 restaurant jobs lost in pandemic

PUBLISHED: 11:11 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:12 10 August 2020

Prof Joshua Bamfield of the Centre for Retail Research (inset) has revealed how many jobs have been lost in 2020 in the restaurant sector. Picture: Getty/Centre for Retail Research

Prof Joshua Bamfield of the Centre for Retail Research (inset) has revealed how many jobs have been lost in 2020 in the restaurant sector. Picture: Getty/Centre for Retail Research

Getty/Centre for Retail Research

More than 22,000 restaurant jobs across the UK have already been shed in 2020, according to new figures compiled by a Norwich-based research centre.

Job losses at UK restaurants this year are already almost double the number of redundancies for the entirety of 2019, according to the Centre for Retail Research which is based in the city’s Rose Lane.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the centre, said: “The sector was already in severe difficulties before the pandemic as a result of rapid over-expansion fuelled by private equity acquisitions, with the enforced lockdown serving to starve operators of revenue bringing restaurateurs now to their knees.”

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Figures compiled by the organisation have revealed that 22,039 roles were lost across large restaurant groups and independent operators from the start of the year to August 4.

It said this represents a 95.4pc increase on the 11,280 job losses reported during the whole of 2019.

The figures also revealed that 1,467 restaurants and casual dining outlets have closed over this period, representing a 59.1pc increase on the total 922 sites which closed during 2019.

Pizza Express has become the latest operator to reveal major cuts, announcing plans to axe up to 1,100 jobs and permanently shut around 67 of its restaurants.

It came after rivals Carluccio’s, Byron and Bella Italia owner Casual Dining Group all slipped into administration after the virus and subsequent lockdown exacerbated already tough conditions for casual dining firms.

The government has set out a series of measures to stem the flow of job losses across the nation.

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The largest was its furlough scheme with analysts now warning that redundancies could continue as the scheme is wound down in the coming months.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also wiped out business rate payments for restaurants for the current financial year as part of financial support measures.

Restaurants have this year received a business rates holiday worth £622.13 million as a result, according to analysis by real estate adviser Altus Group.

The government also launched its £500 million Eat Out to Help Out programme to boost customer spending by subsidising a 50pc discount on food and soft drinks up to a maximum of £10 per diner on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays this month.


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