Fewer than a fifth of hospitality bosses are optimistic about market prospects over the next 12 months according to a new report signalling the depth of the pandemic's ongoing blow to the sector.
The business confidence survey from industry analyst CGA and Fourth, released on Friday, also suggests that more than a quarter (27%) of multi-site businesses believe they will become unviable by next summer without further support.
The research, which includes a poll of UKHospitality, British Beer and Pub Association and the British Institute of Innkeeping members, also demonstrated the impact of the Tiers system.
Nearly 90% of respondents said pubs, bars and restaurants will be unviable or loss-making in Tier 2 regions of England, where 59% of all licensed premises are located.
It came as UKHospitality today called for rent moratoria to be extended beyond December 31.
The industry body warned that the sector is on a countdown to a "devastating rent tipping-point that will trigger a new year bloodbath of hospitality business failures and potentially hundreds of thousands more jobs lost".
CGA’s research and insight director, Charlie Mitchell, said: “Suffocating restrictions across Britain will devastate trading in what should be businesses’ busiest time of the year.
"Leaders’ optimism is at least rising from the rock bottom level of our last survey, and news of a vaccine is a reason for cautious hope of recovery in 2021. However, this week’s Tier 2 restrictions in England and strict new limits in Wales could be fatal for smaller business in particular, making the case for more relaxed trading conditions and better government support even more urgent."