Hospitality Today Feb - Mar 2017 | Page 15

Is there any hope ?
hospitalitytoday . com | 15
Restaurants can seek to alleviate these increases by appealing to the Valuation Office Agency – there are limited grounds for appealing against the rateable value if you feel it has been incorrectly calculated . Under the new regime , there will be a simplified procedure in place which means appeals can be carried out more quickly but on more limited grounds . Most big commercial property agencies deal with appeals on a no-win , no-fee basis .
Their clientele is also better able to bear the cost of higher prices on menus .
It is those in the mid to lower market , and those with smaller profit margins such as burger and pizza chains , who may suffer most .
What might happen next ?
We may see a trend of accessible eating outlets being driven away from central London , and expanding to the regions . This type of outlet needs high turnover , and putting up prices on menus will discourage customers , who go to them for reasonably priced meals .
The government says that three quarters of businesses will see no change and in fact 600,000 companies will have their rates cut . However , there will be no rate cuts in greater or central London , where restaurants are performing a balancing act between higher overheads and tighter profit margins , leading many to consider the benefits of downsizing or relocating to the regions . Will these increased rates leave the centre of London deserted , save for hordes of Deliveroo drivers ?
So , it ’ s likely that these restaurants , in the mid to lower end , will consider moving to areas where the business rates are lower .
The gig economy will also profit , especially takeaway services such as Deliveroo . This online food delivery company will benefit because it doesn ’ t just collect from restaurants , it has kitchen units on the outskirts of London where the rates and overheads are lower .