At Sowerby FRS the partners have a combined knowledge and experience of over 100 years within the hospitality sector with over 200 clients ranging from bars, restaurants and coffee shops, to lodge parks, bed and breakfast and luxury holiday cottages. With such a depth of experience we understand the issues facing the sector and can help you both manage your business on a day to day basis and assist with your long term strategic aims.

Bars, Restaurants and Coffee Shops (the watering holes)

Whilst one of the main keys to success within the sector is to ensure that you have the correct offer for your marketplace this on its own will not delivery the profitability that you require and deserve. This sector is one of the most competitive with competition not only from national chains but also local specialist.

The sector has also expanded significantly over the last few years with an explosion of coffee shops and specialist national food restaurants. Whilst competition has increased, food price inflation and increases in living wage has impacted on the overall profitability as well. There are many operations that do not achieve their desired results due to poor wastage control, portion control or simple theft. The need to monitor and manage both the wet and dry gross margin are imperative and we can assist in the monitoring of all of these areas of your business.

For many businesses in this sector the need to actively control your staff cost is the single biggest factor in the success or failure of the operation. It is not just a case of reviewing the staff wage rates but also ensuring that you have the correct number of staff at the correct time. You also need to review the rotas regularly so that you can try to flex the costing when significant events occur during the period, i.e. severe weather conditions. The impact of the shortage of skilled staff particularly in the catering sector and the increases in living wage make the management of staff more important than ever.

For most hospitality businesses the largest capital costs will be the catering equipment and the shop fittings. At Sowerby FRS we can assist you to claim the maximum allowances available for this expenditure and keep your tax liability to a minimum.

For many operators in this sector the actual premises are not owned by the catering establishment rather rented. We are therefore able to advise and assist you on your rental and service charge agreement obviously in cooperation with your legal advisers.

Many small catering establishments will not suffer the apprentice levy; however, they may be able to utilise the benefits by offering training through an approved apprenticeship course thus improving the skill set within the business and improving standards, service and profitability.

We are also aware of the complex tax rules involved within this sector, especially if you are offering a take away service. The recent issues with the ‘pasty tax’ are examples of this. We can help ensure you are compliant with all taxes so you have peace of mind to concentrate on the day job.

Accommodation (rooms with a view)

At Sowerby FRS we understand that the main key to success within the sector is your occupancy rates and with so many routes to market it is important that you fully understand the costs that most online or national agents charge and how it will affect your profitability. A philosophy of 100% occupancy at any cost is often not the answer and we can assist in calculating your optimum price/occupancy ratio to maximise your profit. Staff costs are also key with the sector suffering from the same issues as those in other areas of the hospitality sector.

The tax implications of the business are also key and extremely complex especially where the lettings form part of a larger enterprise or in some cases the family home. With many clients expanding into the holiday sector to diversify you need to understand how the ownership of the land or property will impact on any tax liabilities especially where there is a difference between who operates the business and who owns the property it operates from.


Because of our substantial number of clients in this sector, we have access to a significant amount of data both relating to our individual clients and the industry as a whole. The access to this level of data enables us to provide a detailed benchmarking service to review your business performance against the performance of other businesses in the sector.

It goes without saying that benchmarking is of course 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 meeting consultation on an absolutely no obligation basis with one of our industry specialists.

For further information contact one of our specialists:


Adrian Allen FCA



01482 389762

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Richard Skewis profile

Richard Skewis FCCA



01482 389752

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Phil Silvester profile

Phil Silvester


01482 389771

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