Pubs will be resilient against rising inflation, Shepherd Neame CEO Jonathan Neame has said.
“I think people are more likely to cut down on big ticket items like houses and expensive holidays. Historically beer and pubs have been pretty resilient,” Neame told CityA.M.
Data from Barlcaycard revealed yesterday that Brits had been cutting back on trips to the pub as the cost of living has increased.
“We did see a similar thing in 2008/2009 after the financial crash,” Neame added.
Strong employment numbers and a rise to National Minimum Wage put the sector in a good position to cope with the impact of inflation rising, the pub boss said.
For the year to June 26 2021, the Kent-based brewer and pub operator reported revenue of £86.88m. This was compared to £118.2m during the 52 weeks to 27 June 2020.
Total pre-tax losses narrowed from £20.98m to £16.4m while at a statutory level they widened from £3.64m to £10.1m.
“Recovery so far has been remarkably encouraging,” Neame told CityA.M. “It’s been progressive but I don’t think demand for the British pub has ever been in doubt.”
At each phase of the sector’s Covid recovery, which Neame details from the outdoor opening of venues in April – “a bit chilly but encouraging” – until now, the “back to work phase,” demand has been “slightly above expectations,” Neame said.