Hospitality And Leisure

At Sowerby, our partners have over 100 years of combined knowledge and experience in the hospitality sector. Our clients in this sector have ranged from bars, restaurants and coffee shops to lodge parks, B&B’s and luxury holiday cottages. We understand the issues facing this sector and our experience can help you manage your business on a day to day basis as well as assist with your long-term strategic aims.

Hospitality is perhaps the most competitive sector in the market and we at Sowerby know that having a good offer for your target customer-base will not deliver the right results on its own.


The sector has exploded over the past few years, with a huge increase in independent coffee shops and boutique eateries. This increased competition has been accompanied by food price inflation and significant wage increases, making it very difficult for many businesses to maintain profitability. That is without taking into account the everyday set-backs of wastage, portion control and simple theft. We at Sowerby can monitor these small but significant losses and help you gain control over your profit margin again.


We understand that success or failure in this sector often comes down to control over staff cost. It is not just a case of regularly reviewing staff wage rates, but also ensuring that you have the right number of staff at any given time. Unexpected changes in circumstance for employees (e.g. severe weather) must be factored into rotas or business risk being plunged into disarray. A general shortage of skilled workers in the catering sector, and the increases to the National Minimum Wage (NMW), make the management of staff more important than ever.


The largest capital costs for most hospitality business will be catering equipment and shop fittings. We at Sowerby can ensure that you claim the maximum allowances for this expenditure, keeping your tax liability to a minimum.


Often in the hospitality sector, the business premises are not owned but are rented. We at Sowerby can advise and assist you with your rental and service charge agreement, in cooperation with your legal advisers.


There is the opportunity for small catering establishments to benefit from the apprentice levy by offering training through an approved apprenticeship course. This scheme would improve the skill set within the business, along with service standards and profitability.


The tax rules within this sector are notoriously complex, especially if you are offering a take-away service. Sowerby can help ensure that your business is compliant with all tax regulations, new and old, giving you the peace of mind to concentrate on the day job.

In the accommodation sector, we at Sowerby understand that occupancy rates are the key to success. With so many routes to the market, it is essentially that costs for online and national agents are assessed against your likely profitability. Often, a philosophy of 100% occupancy at any cost is not the answer – we can assist in calculating the optimum price/occupancy ratio to maximise profit. Staff costs are also a paramount concern, suffering from the same issues as in the hospitality sector.


Tax implications are also a major concern for accommodation business and can be extremely complex in cases where lettings form part of a larger enterprise or are the family home. You will need to have a full understanding of any tax liabilities you may incur, especially if the person who operates the business is not the same person who owns the property from which it operates.

We have a large number of clients in this sector, and as such there is a large amount of data at our disposal which allows us to help our clients and their businesses very effectively. We at Sowerby can provide a detailed benchmarking service to review the performance of your business against hundreds of others in the same sector.


Needless to say, benchmarking is carried out without jeopardising confidentiality.


Our Hospitality Sector Specialists

Whether you are looking for a new accountant or simply would like a second opinion on your business, we offer a free initial face to face consultation on an absolutely no obligation basis with one of our industry specialists.

For further information contact one of our specialists:

Philip Silvester

Richard Skewis



If you would like help from the Sowerby team, please fill in the form below and we will be in touch.