A pub owner in the East Riding of Yorkshire has warned that soaring energy prices could lead to dramatic increases in beer prices for pubs that want to stay in business.
James Allcocks pub Pig & Whistle Bistro in Beverley has seen bills on electricity and gas increase from £2,900 to £22,000 annually because of the soaring inflation and energy costs.
In an interview with Sky News, Allock said: “I’ve just found out it will cost £125-a-day just to turn the heating on in winter. That will turn a small profit-making day into a huge loss-making day.
“I do feel a bit like the band on the Titanic, or that I’m re-arranging the deck chairs to stop it sinking.”
His biggest fear is that small businesses like his could disappear permanently unless the government intervenes immediately with widespread support.
This could force some pub owners to increase their beer prices to as much as £20 in order to afford staying in business - Something that will surely be off putting to already struggling population.
Allcock, 37, posted a picture on social media of his new quote saying: “My current energy bill for my tiny 22 cover restaurant is £2,928 a year. This is my new quote.
“Unsure what to actually do next but as a business that cost would now be more than I pay in rent and more than I take some months. I simply don’t have the money for this.”
In a letter to the Chancellor, Nik Antona, Chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: “Pubs goers and beer drinkers want to see urgent action from government to make sure that the UK’s best beers, brands and breweries can survive these unprecedented times of rocketing energy and ingredient costs and a dip in consumer confidence.
“With businesses having pulled out all the stops to make it through the pandemic, it would be a travesty if more of our local, small and independent breweries were forced to close for good now due to the crisis with the cost of energy, goods, and doing business.”
Tom Strainer, also from CAMRA, told the Daily Star: “We’re seeing pubs where their energy costs are going up by not just a little bit - we’re talking 500% to 600%.
“How much would 500% be on a £5 pint - you’re talking ridiculous amounts of money, 15 or 20 quid for a pint.
“What you can say with surety is you can’t possibly pass on these energy increases and you can’t increase the pint by 500%.”