With the ongoing cost of living crisis, added to the problems associated with further rises in the energy market this month, there are also inflationary issues hitting both businesses and individual households across the country. For the hospitality sector, this obviously offers up different and more unique problems for landlords to cope with.
Their own costs are going up dramatically, and at some point those rises will have to be passed on (at least in part) to customers and punters who have already seen their surplus income fall given the pressures they are under. This is going to be a tough balance to strike, a business needs to turn a profit and there are going to be plenty who find themselves unable to do that - one of the latest being The Spare Wheel who have confirmed they will be pulling the pumps for the final time next weekend given the struggles they face.
The popular Newbury pub on Market Street announced their decision to close on their Facebook page on October 1 and cited both the current difficulties in the labour market, as well as recent rises in their cost base as being behind the decision. Sadly for the pub trade, they are unlikely to be the last to close their doors as the next few months are going to be a proverbial roulette wheel at the likes of Novibet casino, bigger venues could well capitalise with greater foot traffic, but smaller venues with tighter margins will definitely struggle and probably feel that their chances of success truly is a gamble with unfavourable odds.
"Hi all, sad news alert! As you will have noticed our doors are closed at the moment. The current cost of living crisis resulting in increased costs (including energy, beer and food ingredients) together with an increasingly difficult labour market has made running two venues in town very difficult. We are also coming to the end of our current lease. So for now, while we decided what to do going forward, we have decided to concentrate our efforts on making sure that the Catherine Wheel continues to be the great place it is and will be making improvements to make it even better (if that's possible) including the addition of the Spare Wheel craft beer fridge! We will be open for one final time next weekend so you can come and drink us dry and enjoy the best draught craft beer experience in Newbury. Keep an eye out for details. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your fantastic support over the last couple of years and also thank the fantastic team (who you will still find at The Catherine Wheel) for all of their hard work and devotion to the cause. While The Spare Wheel in its current format is coming to a close, this will not be the end and just like James Bond, The Spare Wheel will return."
The Spare Wheel originally opened back in 2020 as a restaurant and micropub and was definitely a fresh addition to the area and even though it successfully capitalised on lockdown restrictions easing as the country managed to get more of a grip on the Coronavirus pandemic and life began to get back to normal, the current state of the economy and the more immediate future has been one hurdle too far for their owners.