Hospitality venues across the UK, this week and last, have enjoyed the first few days of Government support in the form of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. The results so far have been promising: Monday 3rd of August marked the busiest day of the year for the sector. Retail analyst Springboard has found that customer visits were up almost 30% in comparison to the previous week, and Opentable – a restaurant booking platform – reported that the number of diners increased by 10% versus the same day last year.
Private equity investment has been one of the only areas able or willing to provide growth finance to businesses in this arena looking to grow during lockdown. It is also a sector that has provided vital survival finance to firms unable to access any Government support, as many Pubs were.
IW Capital has funded over 40 growing small businesses since 2011, including Brewhouse & Kitchen and Borrow My Doggy. In the past few months, we have supported a number of businesses looking to grow through lockdown as firms from a variety of sectors look to carry on with – or alter – their plans.
Recently, IW Capital and our founder Luke Davis have invested in a beachfront pub development project in Hove – of which Luke is a resident – raising over £2 million to redevelop a well-known landmark in the area into a new community hub now to be known as Rockwater Hove. The investment was also open to local residents and to date has received tremendous support from the local community, both from the public and the council. Luke recently spoke to the BBC about the venue’s experience of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, as well as commenting on the next steps the Government could take to ensure small businesses are bolstered through this period. You can read the article here.
Government support for the sector is obviously welcome but it will only go so far after August when the Eat Out to Help Out scheme ceases. While increased consumer confidence is key to recovery and survival for many firms, investment and innovation will be equally key in the coming months and years.
Innovation is one of the UK’s biggest assets, so it is investment to support this that needs to step up as firms get back to the new normal of social distancing. Hospitality is a hugely important part of the UK economy and recovery will come only if everyone is pulling in the same direction; private investment looks like it will be key to this, especially as banks become increasingly reluctant to lend.
IW Capital portfolio company and British tech pioneers Ubamarket have also launched a new app to facilitate the return of the hospitality sector. Ubamarket’s hospitality app, entitled uBARmarket, will enable bars and pubs to offer a range of features designed to improve and streamline the hospitality experience safely, including map search, remote ordering, in-app payments and automatic loyalty points. The app is ready to integrate with all bars, pubs and restaurants, with uBARmarket’s POS partners providing thousands of venues across the UK, Europe and Australia with access to the technology.
Other IW Capital portfolio firms in the hospitality sector include Brewhouse & Kitchen and Inglenook Inns covering both the South West, South East and the North East.
To find out more about IW Capital, or for more information on investment and non-executive opportunities, please speak to a member of the IW Capital team today on 020 7015 2250, or email firstname.lastname@example.org