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Newswire - 16 August


Hospitality spend sees 1.5% decline in July

Consumer card spending on hospitality saw a month-on-month decline of 1.5% in July, according to the latest figures from Barclaycard. The month-on-month drop is partly a reflection of the sector's strong performance in June due to the Jubilee period. While the eating and drinking out category is up 9% year-on-year, a recent survey from Barclaycard found that 67% of respondents planned to cut back on eating this summer, reports Big Hospitality. The drop between June and July comes as 29% of Brits report they plan to spend less on social plans this summer.

Bourne again bids to buy back Butlin's

The former owners of Butlin's have offered Blackstone more than £300m to buy back the business. EG News reports that the Harris family are believed to be keen to capitalise on the continued rise of domestic holidays. The deal, which could close within a fortnight, would take the total proceeds from the sale of Butlin's to more than £600m.

Rise in calls to pub helpline as some energy bills rise by over 300%

A leading pub trade body said it has seen a sharp rise in calls to its helpline as businesses struggle to cope with an "unsustainable" rise in energy bills and costs, advises The Caterer. The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) said many pubs were reporting increases of over 300% in their energy bills, while pandemic-related debts were around £40,000 per venue. It has written to the secretary of state for BEIS and the chancellor warning that rising energy bills and costs will "cripple" businesses without further support.

Sunak vows to slash business rates

PM candidate Rishi Sunak has vowed to slash business rates if he is elected as the next Conservative party leader. Speaking at a hustings in Darlington last Wednesday (10th August), he said cutting business rates and supporting high streets would be "top of my mind" if he were to beat Liz Truss in the battle for No. 10, reports Morning Advertiser. Sunak said he was committed to extending the current 50% discount on business rates in his first budget.

Cost of living crisis 'worse than Covid-19 for hospitality sector'

Pubs, bars and restaurants are struggling more in the cost of living crisis than during the Covid-19 pandemic, says Sacha Lord. The BBC reports that the Greater Manchester's night-time economic adviser warned outgoings have tripled. Mr Lord said soaring inflation and energy bills as well as supply problems had led to a "perfect storm tearing through the heart of the sector". The government said it fully supported the sector during the pandemic and now.

And Finally...

Greene King Inns Staycation Calculator helps users chose perfect UK holiday spot, reports Wales Online. Their online tool allows users to enter dream holiday activities, before responding with the perfect town or city location and a relevant hotel.