More pain for restaurants as firms cut back on Christmas

THE number of restaurants falling into insolvency is set to rise again next year after one of the quietest corporate Christmases on record.<br /><br />The industry&rsquo;s woes over the financial crisis have been well publicised by the difficulties experienced by the UK&rsquo;s celebrity chefs. Gordon Ramsay revealed earlier this year that his restaurant empire had teetered on the brink of insolvency, while Antony Worrall Thompson had to close four restaurants after his business went into administration.<br /><br />Analysis from accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has now shown that the number of bankruptcies rose by 25 per cent year-on-year in the nine months to September, while the firm predicts another peak in the insolvency rate in the New Year following a painfully quiet festive season.<br /><br />&ldquo;Faced with the economic realities of this recession companies have now had nine months to refine policies and prepare staff for more restrained celebrations this Christmas,&rdquo; said PwC hospitality and leisure director Stephen Broome. &ldquo;Many employees wishing to celebrate will do so at their own expense &ndash; and this is likely to have a direct impact on the bottom line of restaurants.&rdquo;