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Fifth of pubs, restaurants and cafes slash hours over energy bill rises

A closed sign in the window of a branch of McDonalds on Oxford Street in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
A closed sign in the window of a branch of McDonalds on Oxford Street in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Over a fifth of UK pubs, restaurants and cafes have cut their hours over the past three months in a bid to cut energy costs.

New analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that food and drink service firms were more likely than any other sector to cut trading to deal with mammoth increases in energy bills.

It revealed that 21% of firms in the sector have cut their trading hours as a result, even if they were still operating for the same number of days.

Meanwhile, 6% of businesses in the sector said that they have cut trading by two or more days a week over the past three months.

These companies were also the most likely to say energy prices were their main concern for November, although accommodation business were close behind.

Across industry, 22% of businesses said energy prices were their principal concern for November.

However, this reflected a marginal decline after the Government pledged to subsidise businesses’ energy bills in September.

However, food and drink hospitality firms came under particularly sharp pressure from higher bills, with 58% of these companies saying energy prices are their main concern, jumping from 39% a month earlier.

As a result, around two in five, 41%, of companies in the sector said this expect to increase their prices in November.

Meanwhile, 36% of accommodation firms they were set to hike prices too.