//The Cost of Christmas Parties: How Much Is The Hospitality Industry Losing Out on This Year

The Cost of Christmas Parties: How Much Is The Hospitality Industry Losing Out on This Year

The Cost of Christmas Parties: How Much Is The Hospitality Industry Losing Out on This Year

office christmas party

This year has been a year like no other. That much is clearly true. The cost of COVID-19 on the entire U.K. and global economy will be felt for years to come. While things are edging closer to normal, we won’t get the usual Christmas many of us were hoping for. This fact is a big blow to all, but none more so than the hospitality sector. 

The U.K. hospitality and tourism sectors usually contribute over a whopping £100 billion per year to the U.K. economy.

This figure increases to in excess of £160 billion with indirect impact on other sectors and will only continue to grow. Across the past six years alone – pre-COVID – the industry was growing at a 6% rate per year, quicker than any other industry since the 2008 economic crisis. If the U.K. is to recover from COVID in an economic sense, it is clear that the hospitality industry has a big say in that.

As with the rest of this year, this Christmas is an unfortunate write-off for the industry. Christmas parties have been cancelled – or simply not arranged – and with national guidance urging people to stay at home, the most fruitful time of year for our pubs and clubs is about to become a dud for the first time in post-war Britain. 

For Christmas 2020 at least, people are being encouraged to stay away from large crowds as much as possible. Even in areas where bars and restaurants are open, the capacity is reduced, and customers are often only allowed to drink alcohol with a meal. For pubs and bars that don’t have the capacity for food, this proves a struggle. 

The UK hospitality industry is due to lose £8 billion during the Christmas period alone

These measures are understandable but are a real issue for these businesses. This article on ThisisMoney.co.uk states that the U.K. hospitality industry is due to lose £8 billion during the Christmas period alone, and much of this would have been provided by the annual office Christmas party. A staple in the workplace calendar for many venues across the country, these steady bookings across December allow for extra planning, extra revenue and help with survival during the harsher economic months of January and February. This year, those months will be even tougher, but with an added dismal December thrown into the mix.

Figures are inconclusive about how much trade will be taken by pubs, restaurants and bars this Christmas, but reflecting on the entire 2020 outcome, the U.K. pub sector alone has seen a decrease in 61% compared with usual takings. This figure alone gives you some sense of exactly how hard some businesses will be hit by the lack of office parties and confirmed bookings.

While those figures reflect 2020, what recovery can be expected for businesses that find ways to survive this Christmas. Will next year be any different, and can we expect the usual office festivities to return in 2021? Research and forecasts suggest yes.

There has been renewed positivity in the industry that, with a vaccine on the way and COVID figures sloping slightly, next year will see a recovery that provides an added shot in the arm for our hospitality sector. This research cited in bighospitality.co.uk states that the pub industry alone could see a 104% year-on-year increase in sales during 2021, and if this is even nearly correct, next Christmas could be a bumper one for the entire hospitality industry. Especially if the Government can continue to provide financial and creative support for the sector.

Campaigns, like Eat Out to Help Out, are going to be vital for many town centres. Consumer confidence is the only thing that will lead to an influx of money being pumped into the industry. Those businesses who survive in 2020 will need help to thrive in 2021. With the potential vaccine on the way, there may very well be a gold sky on the horizon and a good chance of avoiding a blue Christmas next year. But until then, continue to support your local pubs and restaurants with some of the added adaptations that they have put in place. And let’s all pray for a more festive 2021.

By |2020-12-10T11:55:36+00:00December 10th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments