(Bloomberg) -- Food inflation has hit 15% for Britain’s pubs and restaurants as the cost of buying ingredients keeps rising.
The price of food and non-alcoholic drinks supplied to the UK’s hospitality sector climbed again in August, according to the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index, having recorded double-digit inflation every month since February.
Prices were up 2% compared to July, with milk, eggs, cheese, oils and fats jumping sharply.
Inflation has blunted any rebound in spending at Britain’s pubs following the end of Covid-19 restrictions, J D Wetherspoon Plc said Friday. The pub chain’s preliminary results said that while many people “predicted a post-lockdown boom, in which the public would react to enforced cabin fever by embarking on a celebratory spree,” the reality has been slow sales “accompanied by great inflation in costs.”
The FTSE 250 company added, however, that it had avoided a more severe impact from rising borrowing costs by fixing interest rates on its debt in the first half of the year.
“While some pressures may be easing, a tough winter lies ahead,” said James Ashurst from research consultancy CGA by NielsenIQ, calling for more government support for the catering industry.
One in 10 companies in the sector is at risk of collapsing this winter, the boss of lobby group UKHospitality told Bloomberg Radio last month, despite a government program to cap businesses’ energy costs.
“In the months ahead it is likely that we will reach peak inflation, then see some leveling off, before a gradual fall during next year,” said Shaun Allen, chief executive officer of Prestige Purchasing, a procurement company for the leisure sector that helps to compile the survey.
(Updates with Wetherspoon comments in third and fourth paragraphs.)
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