The UK pub sector is facing further disruption as fresh rail strikes have been announced, causing businesses to lose hope for a successful summer season. The strikes, organised by the train drivers’ union ASLEF, are in response to a rejected pay offer from 16 companies with whom it is in dispute. The most recent pay proposal was deemed “risible” and “not designed to be accepted” by ASLEF.
According to trade body UKHospitality, the rail strikes have already cost the UK hospitality sector £1.5bn in December alone. The sector is now facing a crucial summer season, and the announcement of further strikes is causing concern for businesses that have already been struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The strikes are expected to cause significant disruption to the travel plans of customers, potentially leading to cancelled bookings and lost revenue for pubs and restaurants.
Pubs group Fuller, Smith & Turner has already reported a loss of £4m in sales due to the impact of ongoing rail strikes. The chain, which operates almost 400 pubs, has warned that it will miss its profit targets this year as a result. The situation is causing businesses to lose hope that the crucial summer season will be uninterrupted by disruption, despite hopes that pay offers would bring the rail strikes to an end.