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Anyone calling for restaurants to pass the VAT cut onto customers is likely to be disappointed, according to the latest weekly Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA/HIM.

Despite big brands like Starbucks, Nando’s, KFC Pret and JD Wetherspoon saying they would be cutting prices, of the 265 respondents to the weekly poll, all of whom are board level positions or founders of restaurants, pubs and food to go operations, 85% said they would not be passing on the cut.

Many said that as wet-led operations it wasn’t worth the trouble, with one saying: “It’s too complicated and our food trade is only around 20% of total turnover”.

But one operator of a popular high street food to go chain that will not be passing on any price cuts said: “We need all the help we can get right now”.

And of the 15% that said they would be passing on the cut by reducing prices, 10% were planning to do so only partially.

Another hot topic is the concept of introducing deposits to combat the contentious issue of no shows which have risen in the wake of lockdown being lifted. But just 16% say they planned to, although many said they were keeping the situation under review.

Meanwhile the weekly poll’s tracker question, which is monitoring confidence for the future among the hospitality industry, showed a very slight decline from last week, from 68% to 66%.