Economy

Hospitality sector R&D spending falls 21%

Hospitality industry R&D spending fell 6.3% on an annual basis in Q1 2022, according to latest ONS data.

Research and development (R&D) spending in the hospitality industry fell 21% in the Q1 of 2022, according to the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) data analysed by funding specialist Catax. 

The ONS published its Q1 2022 statistics for R&D spending on 30 June, Catax states that “spending on R&D is vital to the UK economy because it helps firms compete for market share, revenue, foreign investment and creates skilled jobs”.

The statistics show that the accommodation and food service sector spent £15m on R&D in Q1 2022, down 21.1% from £19m in the previous quarter (Q4 2021). This marks the first time hospitality spend on R&D has fallen in a quarter since Q1 2020.

The data shows that the accommodation and food service sector also declined 6.3% from the £16m invested in the same period last year (Q1 2021).

 It added that the statistics show that the hospitality sector’s performance is “significantly worse” than the performance of the UK industry as a whole. Overall industry spending on R&D by UK businesses rose 14.1% on an annual basis to £12bn in Q1 2022. This was a 13.9% quarterly increase. 

Mark Tighe, CEO of funding specialist Catax, said: “Supply chain issues and labour shortages are hitting the hospitality industry hard and providing a setback to its recovery. In fact, this is the first time R&D spending has fallen since the start of 2020 when the pandemic first struck.

“It’s a worrying sign for the sector, which by the end of last year had almost battled back to where it was pre-pandemic. The rising cost of oil and food may put further pressure on R&D spending in the quarters to come. The UK is suffering from a lot of imported inflation and the hospitality industry is vulnerable to that.” 

The ONS R&D spending statistics don’t factor inflation, which was running at an annual 7% in March this year.

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