Still undecided about whether we should stay or leave the EU?  Unsure of what your decision will mean for the Hospitality industry?  As the referendum looms ever closer, we’ve done a round-up of what’s being said from both camps which might help you make your decision:

 

STAY

“Both the long-term and the wider impacts of Brexit could well be more benign, but in the first two to three years the combined effects of weakened sterling, import tariffs, and rising labour and energy costs is likely to push up the price of food and drink, possibly significantly.  The scale of price increases are difficult to predict, particularly as global food prices remain generally quite soft currently, but the potential range of increases is wide. Smart caterers will be clear about contingency plans in advance of the vote.”

David Read, Chief Executive, Prestige Purchasing

LEAVE

“Corporate governance at the IMF is clearly out of control and Christine Lagarde would have been obliged to resign at any normal Plc or institution until the matters in question were resolved.  Christine Lagarde’s integrity and her bona fides as a national advisor, as well as that of the IMF, are a legitimate and important concern.”

Tim Martin, Founder, JD Wetherspoon

STAY

British Hospitality Survey find 75% of Hospitality CEO’s back Remain. Surveyed Hospitality CEO’s comment:

“Being part of the EU has kept the sector going…migrant labour has been critical to us.”

“Anything other than staying in works against our business but we need to be more ambitious for the UK’s place in the world.”

LEAVE

The Bangladesh Caterers Association believes leaving the EU could ‘save Britain’s curry industry’ by changing migration rules allowing the sector to bring in more trained chefs from the Indian sub-continent.

STAY

95% of hotel property and investment professionals would favour a remain outcome according to an HVS survey.  Hotel investors are concerned it would be difficult to find the right calibre of staff to operator hotels if immigration were severely curtailed following a Brexit.

LEAVE

In a William Reed survey, more than two thirds of independent foodservice operators believe that Britain leaving the EU would have a positive impact on their business with 56% predicting that it would help cut red tape.

STAY

“We have staff from France, Spain and Holland.  They bring culture to our business.  People come to Britain to work because it is a good place.  The fact that we attract these people shows that there must be something good about our country.  [Following a Brexit] trade would suffer as goods would become more expensive.”
 

Clive Watson, Chairman, City Pub Company

LEAVE

An RPBi online survey of 1,915 UK hospitality operators found 49% planned to vote Leave, 43% Remain and 7% were undecided.  51% didn’t think a Brexit would lead to recruiting difficulties. 

STAY

The Institute of Hospitality reports: The travel and tourism sectors employ a significant number of immigrants. Any changes limiting the sector’s ability to recruit or employ foreign nationals, including those from the EU, could challenge many travel and hospitality businesses in filling a number of roles, especially given the current levels of UK employment and existing skills shortages.

LEAVE

Small business owners who want Britain to leave the EU cite red tape, immigration and foreign competition as their main reasons for favouring “Brexit”, a survey has shown

STAY

One of the greatest scares for hospitality companies are the contracts they have in place with suppliers. With the single market introduced to help removing barriers and red tape associated with overseas trading, a Brexit could harm businesses that trade in the EU and reduce negotiation powers. What is more, the UK will be forced to re-establish new relationships with the EU, which may weaken the current supplier relationships built, leaving commercial contracts massively at stake. For hospitality businesses, other EU countries may stop sourcing products, such as beer, from the UK as it will be a lot more expensive, time consuming and require new EU-UK relationships to be formed.

Adam Moody, Raffingers

LEAVE

“EU regulations bring unnecessary headaches and expense,” Jason Jordan, owner of JJ’s BBQ & Burgers.