As the festive season approaches, the UK hospitality sector faces a new challenge with planned train strikes that could cost businesses up to £800 million. The Aslef union’s announcement of a “rolling programme” of walkouts from December 2 to 8, coupled with a refusal by drivers to work overtime between December 1 and 9, has raised concerns across various industries, including fish and chips.
The information comes from UKHospitality, which has warned that the strikes will hit businesses at the crucial beginning of the festive period. The strikes have the potential to devastate trading during one of the busiest weeks of the year. The ongoing rail dispute has already taken a huge toll on the hospitality sector, costing £3.5 billion over the past 18 months.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, emphasised the detrimental impact of these strikes on businesses and disrupting families’ Christmas plans. The timing of the strikes is particularly concerning for our industry, which relies heavily on revenue generated during the festive period to sustain operations during the quieter months of January to March.
Nicholls urged all parties involved to return to the negotiation table and work urgently towards a solution that avoids these strikes. She also highlighted the importance of following the example set by the RMT, which has reached an agreement to prevent strikes over the Christmas period.
We encourage fish and chip businesses to stay informed, plan accordingly and explore marketing strategies to mitigate any challenges posed by the December train strikes.