Only two in five hospitality business leaders say their sites are now trading at a profit or expect to do so by the end of June, according to a new study by CGA and Fourth.
The latest Business Confidence survey found that despite a strong start to outdoor trading in April, concerns remain about the impact of ongoing coronavirus restrictions and staffing shortages.
Just over half (58%) of hospitality operators surveyed said their business had performed above their expectations since April, while only 8% said it was below.
However, business leaders were more positive about the longer-term prospects for the eating and drinking out market, with four in five stating they are optimistic about the sector's future over the next year. This is the highest number recorded by the survey for more than six years.
CGA's director Karl Chessell said: "The figures are testament to the resilience of operators and the enduring appeal of restaurants, pubs and bars to consumers, and we can be optimistic that sales will follow confidence in bouncing back strongly this summer."
A total of 83% of respondents said they feel optimistic about prospects for their own business over the next year.
Chessell added: "There's no escaping the fact that Covid-19 has taken a massive toll on hospitality, with thousands of businesses closing for good and many more still in a precarious position. The road to recovery could be long and uneven, and the sector is going to need sustained support on challenges like rent, rates and recruitment."
This sentiment was echoed by several operators who spoke to The Caterer about indoor reopening, with concerns around the impact of staffing, inflation and the ending of rent protections casting a shadow over trading.
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