The average cost of running a pub is now over 60% of net turnover, according to the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), with staffing costs and rising utility bills dominating growing operational costs.
Salaries and wage costs account for 27.1% of net turnover with the ALMR claiming that represented a rise of 10% in outgoings over the past 10 years. Entertainment (6.3%) and premises costs (5.7%) represent the second and third highest costs to pubs.
Chief executive at ALMR Nick Bish said: "The findings also show a significant difference in cost structure for different styles of trading operation. Whilst the average cost of running the average pub exceeds 60%, it ranges from 56% for community pubs to nearly 70% for clubs and wine bars."
The survey of managed operators was carried out in February and the results were unveiled yesterday at the ALMR's annual conference in London.
Bish also warned that the survey suggested "that the costs are far more significant than most people would assume, and certainly more than most accounting practices allow for.
"With the survey suggesting like-for-like sales up only 3.7%, it's easy to see how the impact this will have on business margins."
By Christopher Walton