A rising number of British restaurants are at risk of going bust due to Brexit, according to new research.
Accountancy firm Moore Stephens said 20 per cent of restaurants, or 14,800 outlets, are threatened with closure.
The number of restaurants declaring insolvency has risen by 13 per cent in the year ending March 2017, according to the study.
A fall in the value of the pound since Britain’s vote to leave the EU last year has hit the restaurant sector hard, with the rising cost of imports squeezing restaurants’ profit margins.
Moore Stephens said the Government’s decision to increase the National Living Wage to £7.50 for workers aged 25 and over in April has also added pressure on restaurants struggling to turn a profit.
Restaurant chains Byron, Prezzo and Jamie’s Italian have all closed sites in the past year, while fast food chain Handmade Burger went into administration earlier this year.
“The increase in the number of insolvencies in the last year is indicative of how difficult the market conditions are now. Finances can be uncertain in the restaurant sector but this is beyond the norm,” said Jeremy Willmont, head of restructuring and insolvency at Moore Stephens.
“A restaurant’s fortune can change remarkably quickly as consumers look for the next new and exciting opening. A restaurant not completely on top of market trends is going to struggle in this environment,” he added.
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