The boss of the Fuller’s pub chain has called on the government to get on with its energy support plan as it warned hospitality firms wouldn’t be able to cope under the strain of soaring utility bills.
The Chiswick-based firm, which runs the iconic Churchill Arms pub in Kensington and City favourite The Counting House in Bank, said it expects gas and electricity costs to swell 125% to £18 million for the current year, and warned energy market costs could grow higher still as demand surges during the winter months. Fuller’s said it was taking steps to slash its energy usage.
Fuller’s boss Simon Emeny said: “Businesses across the hospitality sector are experiencing unsustainable increases in energy costs.
“Despite having proactively purchased forward contracts to limit the impact on Fuller’s, we will see significant increases this year and do urge the Government to provide much needed clarity on its proposed support package so that we can plan accordingly.”
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to set out further plans to tackle soaring energy prices in a ‘mini Budget’ on Friday.
It comes as Fuller’s saw sales top pre-pandemic levels for the first time, with revenue in the past 25 weeks up 3% on 2019 levels and 21% up on 2021. The firm opened a new site, The Queens Arms, at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two, known as the Queen’s Terminal.
In June, the 177-year-old company announced a £200 debt facility in a bid to shore up its balance sheet after revenues were decimated by Covid lockdowns. Emeny told the Standard the government was “holding back Britain” by restricting the supply of workers from Europe as it struggled to fill over 500 vacancies amid chronic labour shortages.
The Standard selected Fuller’s Covent Garden Pub, the Harp, as London’s best pub in 2020, while The Churchill Arms ranked tenth.