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Bank holiday boost to beer sales blighted by staff shortages

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has estimated that around 57 million pints were poured at UK pubs over the long weekend, but suggested that staff shortages prevented even better sales figures.

From Saturday to Monday, pubs across the UK raked in the revenue as punters enjoyed the last bank holiday before Christmas.

However, labour shortages, a perennial problem within the hospitality industry in recent years due to Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, meant that there were potential pints left unpoured, according to the BBPA. It estimates that a further five million beers and ciders, equating to roughly £22 million worth of revenue, could have been served at UK pubs had there been enough staff for them to open for longer.

It was also suggested that a lack of workers is costing pubs around 8% of their revenue. A recent survey undertaken by BBPA, UK Hospitality, British Institute of Innkeeping, and Hospitality Ulster uncovered that 61% of hospitality businesses are experiencing staff shortages, and 42% have reduced their weekend opening hours as a result.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin, a former Conservative Party MEP, said: “Our pubs support economies across the country and during the summer season they thrive on welcoming people from near and far, but they are being held back by an ongoing staffing crisis. Businesses are taking initiatives to overcome these challenges through altering menus and shortening hours, but ultimately this means they are not trading to full capacity and in turn that means lower sales and less revenue generated for the Treasury.”

“We urgently need the Government to implement solutions to solve the staffing crisis by making changes to the youth mobility scheme and widening the Shortage Occupation List, because brilliant pubs thrive on brilliant people, and we need more of them to reach our full economic potential,” McClarkin added.

The figure of 57 million pints sold is still impressive, particularly when one considers how a standard pint of draught beer in London can now cost a whopping £9.

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