Lack of Staff Still An Issue

Office for National Statistics has revealed that there were 107,000 vacancies in hospitality in the quarter to April 2024, 15% higher than pre-pandemic levels. This doesn’t take into account that there have been a lot of pub and restaurant closures, freeing up staff to fill gaps elsewhere.

Wages have increased by 9.5% but companies just can’t get enough staff. This seems to be an ongoing effect of both Brexit and the overall state of the economy, making the UK an undesirable place for the young people who make up the majority of hospitality staff to want to come and live.

Bordeaux Seeing Early Mildew

The wet and warm weather isn’t just meaning that farmers can’t plant their grain crops, but it’s also meant a virulent mildew problem with Bordeaux’s grapes. Everything we eat or drink is reliant on the climate, and as that changes farmers have to change and adapt. Some of that will take a lot longer than others, especially grape vines that are usually up to 20 years old. So we can expect to see shortages and changes.

High Street Auctions

In a move to tackle empty high streets, the government is bringing in a scheme that will allow local councils to take control of empty units. 

If a premises has been empty for more than a year, the council will be able to take it over and auction off a five year lease with no reserve.

There’s no detail yet about whether those premises include empty pubs, or what the planning implications are for any of the sites, or even what happens to the place after five years are up.

But this could mean that we start to see a raft of pop-ups of small businesses taking a chance with much lower rents. Or it could mean that we see the large multinationals moving their outlets around every five years and empty pubs being turned into shops.

Young Avoiding Pubs Because of Social Media

Sacha Lord – the Night Time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester has said that a big reason under 25s don’t go out to the pub is that they don’t want drunken photos online. He also goes on to say that they’re eating healthier and going to the gym instead. I think he’s drawing the wrong conclusions from the figures that 20% of under 25 don’t drink alcohol. For the last generation or so we keep being told that alcohol is bad for us, and that we have to live a healthier lifestyle if we want to see an old age, and that message is creeping in. Plus people are skint. I’ve been saying for a while now that we no longer have occasional drinking, but occasion drinking. People only really go out for a special occasion. And Sacha Lord goes on to agree with this too, saying that the weekly nightclubs are dying a death, but the festivals are thriving. It’s worth pointing out that Sacha Lord is one of the co-organisers of the huge Parklife Festival in Manchester each year.

Government launches consultation into future laws for sale of alcohol to drink in licensed pavement areas

New consultation about outside drinking easements that came in during Covid and are due to expire March next year..

  1. On-sale only licence holders can continue with off-sales with no variation, would allow for on-sale only to continue doing take-aways and deliveries. Although by now really they should have applied for a variation.
  2. Amend Licensing Act so that on-sales include a licensed pavement areas
  3. Amend Licensing Act so that on-sales include own – and nearby licensed pavement areas. Useful for places where there’s lots of different bars with their own areas outside.

People have until 11.59pm on 11th July 2024 to get their views in.