One in five restaurants have been forced to temporarily close due to staff shortages or supply chain issues over the past three months, according to a survey by Deliveroo.
The delivery company polled 350 small and independent restaurants working with its platform between October and November this year and found both issues were having a major impact on operations.
Some 54% of restaurants said they had to remove items from their menus due to a lack of availability, and nearly half had to increase prices. 89% said they have seen wholesale costs increase and 55% said managing their supply chain has become more difficult over the past six months.
At the same time, two thirds of restaurants reported being understaffed and 30% said they had fewer staff than six months ago.
18% said this had caused them to shut their business when they would normally be open, while two in five had either rejected bookings or limited opening hours due to staff shortages. Almost all of the restaurants surveyed (90%) said they have raised the wages of chefs in a bid to attract new talent.
Deliveroo is backing UKHospitality's campaign to keep hospitality VAT at 12.5%, as it is due to return to its pre-pandemic level of 20% in April 2022.
Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive, said: "With fragile consumer confidence further damaged by the impact of the new Omicron variant, at the start of what should have been a key trading period for the sector, on top of ever-rising costs, chronic staff shortages and ongoing supply chain issues, the Government needs to act to support hospitality businesses.
"The best option for the Government would be to retain the 12.5% VAT rate for hospitality and tourism, to allow businesses to invest in staff and skills, keep trading back to prosperity, helping the wider national recovery and keep prices affordable for consumers."
Carlo Mocci, chief business officer, UK&IRestaurants at Deliveroo, said: "Restaurants are a vibrant part of our local communities and critical to the economic recovery, so no-one wants to see them forced to turn away dine-in customers. Making the VAT cut permanent for hospitality will go a long way in easing the financial burden, protecting jobs and livelihoods."
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