UK: Following the recent government announcement that hotels, pubs and restaurants can reopen from 4 July, accountants Mercer & Hotel say that hotel restaurants are unlikely to benefit.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on 23 June that hospitality businesses can reopen with a “one metre plus” social distancing rule in place.
Businesses would still be limited, with indoor table service ensuring minimal contact. The Prime Minister also said businesses should keep contact details from customers in order to help NHS Track and Trace Manage the outbreak.
Mercer & Hole nevertheless believe that hotel restaurants are likely to remain “firmly closed”.
Partner Andy Turner explained: “Restaurant operators will be enormously relieved following the announcement from the government, offering a lifeline for the summer season. But hotel restaurants are likely to remain firmly closed.
“Hotel reservations in the UK are only just beginning to reappear, albeit at significantly reduced numbers. Hotel restaurants tend to be at their most profitable at breakfast, with room rates often including a buffet breakfast. And whilst the new rules will allow them to open there is simply unlikely to be the demand for the traditional buffet breakfast. Guests will either be offered room service or, in larger hotels, a table service breakfast. It is difficult to see hotel restaurants opening for evening meals until well into the autumn when guest bookings are expected to return in any reasonably numbers.”
Mercer & Hole is a 26-partner firm working across four locations – London, St Albans, Rickmansworth and Milton Keynes.