6,106 bars and pubs were in significant financial distress during December

According to new research from Real Business Rescue, 6,106 bars and pubs were in significant financial distress in December.

The report also found that bars and pubs in significant distress are up 23% since before the pandemic (Q4 2021 vs Q4 2019).

There was also a 900% increase in Google searches of the phrase ‘Dry January’ since the beginning of December, peaking on Boxing Day and continuing into the New Year.

Significantly, the report also found that one in six (16%) pubs and bars in significant distress is in the South East of England.

Shaun Barton, National Online Business Operations Director at Real Business Rescue, comments on why it’s vital to continue to support the hospitality sector: “Bars and pubs have missed out on one of their most profitable months of the year as December saw a rise in COVID-19 cases, leading to cancelled Christmas parties and other social events put on ice.

“Following this, our research shows that the hospitality sector has hit its worst months yet since before the pandemic, with more than 6,100 bars and pubs in significant financial distress. This is an increase of 23% from the same period before the pandemic began, where we saw 1,131 fewer pubs and bars in distress.

“With the rise of ‘Dry January’ in recent years in tandem with traditional New Year’s resolutions of committing to a healthier lifestyle, it’s likely to rub salt in the wounds for many hospitality businesses that are still reeling from their decimated Christmas trade.

“Search engine data shows a 900% increase in Google searches of the phrase ‘Dry January’ since the beginning of December, peaking on Boxing Day and continuing into the New Year. But, despite the good intentions of Dry January, it is not in support of the many bars and pubs struggling to stay afloat.

“With unanswered calls for further government support and many jobs at risk, businesses within the hospitality sector urgently need the nation to support them where possible, as they continue to suffer from the impacts of COVID-19.”

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