Matt Ashman, Head of Head of Leisure & Restaurants at Cushman & Wakefield comments on the Chancellor’s 2021 Budget and the impact on the food and beverage sector:
“I’m confident in the latent restaurant & leisure customer demand – people want to get back out and enjoy themselves as soon as is humanly and safely possible, but I’m unsure if today’s headlines will be enough to support the long term changes required. A 5% reduced rate of VAT for the sector until 30th September is welcome, but only allows indoor trading for just over 4 months (from 17 May) before being increased to 12.5% for another six months (March 2022). Likewise the business rates holiday continuing to June, then a third payable for the rest of the year helps, but pushes down the road the need for an overhaul tying in an online tax to level the playing field.
“While together these measures should result in substantial reduction in operational costs and increased profits, which in time will help mitigate some of the losses over the last year, it is a shame not to see a reintroduction of a similar wider scheme such as Eat (or Seat) Out To Help Out which will help drive business, rather than just save costs.”