Prices rise, rise and rise: British independent pubs under pressure from energy costs


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As the UK faces a worrying rise in the cost of living, UKTN’s third report in a series of five focuses on pubs. The country’s beloved cultural icons are struggling in these times of economic turmoil exacerbated by Brexit and a lack of affordable, skilled labour. Costs have risen while the purchasing power of customers has declined. Independent or privately owned pubs are the hardest hit, as Julien Sauvaget and Clovis Casali of UKTN report from London.

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An independent pub in London’s Islington district, the Highbury Barn tavern is a multi-generational institution. Since Brexit, manager Fatima has struggled to find staff at a reasonable price.

Her other major concern is rising energy prices: “Energy costs not only affect the operation of the company, but also the cost of food and drink.

The pub is an institution, but nowadays low purchasing power means cutbacks. “They used to drink ten pints; now they go for maybe one good one, or they pick a big day to go out. The quiet week used to be… the last week of the month. Now you see the ‘quiet week’ day’ from the 15th. You’ll see more locals or regulars saying to you, ‘Oh, I don’t have any money left for the rest of the month,'” says Fatima.

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She regularly tries to negotiate prices with suppliers, but does not have the bargaining power of large pub chains.

Click on the player above to see UKTN’s full report.

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