With energy support reducing next month and bills set to increase by more than 80% “it is inevitable that price rises will follow”, UKHospitality has warned.

Responding to the announcement from the Bank of England yesterday (23 March), that it would be raising interest rates again – to 4.25%, the trade body’s chief executive Kate Nicholls said staggering price rises in energy, food and drink costs have given hospitality businesses stark choices over whether to pass these costs through to consumers, in order to survive.

“Unfortunately, as highlighted in yesterday’s ONS figures, this is a contributing factor to the rate of inflation increasing once again,” Nicholls said.

“Tackling these main drivers of inflations would fix the source of the inflation problem and enable venues to keep prices lower for consumers, stem the rate of inflation and reduce the need for further interest rate rises.”

Inflation unexpectedly rose to 10.4% in February, after falling for three consecutive months to a 10.1% rise in the year to January, from its 11.1% peak in October.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages, energy costs, and rising prices in the hospitality sector were the largest contributors to the rise last month, despite economists forecasting a drop to 9.9%.