UK: New research says pent up demand from the public for eating, drinking and travelling, could see £3.8 billion being spent in the first week after restrictions are lifted.
The research, from Caterer.com, found that 63 per cent of British people are keen to support local hospitality businesses as soon as possible, providing the right safety measures are in place. Just over two thirds (67 per cent) of consumers believe the government should provide support to hospitality businesses that need it in order to survive.
The survey of 2,000 UK adults earlier this month found that 51 per cent were keen for hospitality to get “back to normal”, 35 per cent will dine out more and 43 per cent plan on tipping more than they would have pre-lockdown. Almost a third (31 per cent) are planning to go to the pub within a week of being allowed to do so, increasing to 53 per cent in London, and 30% plan to dine out within a week of restaurants reopening.
Nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of Britons would feel comfortable eating in restaurants with every other table occupied and 55 per cent would rather hospitality businesses only allowed groups of up to four people per table.
Consumers are prepared to pay a premium for enhanced cleaning in restaurants, bars and pubs (41 per cent) and also for social distancing practices (40 per cent).
Neil Pattison, director at Caterer.com, said: “While this has been an incredibly painful time for the sector, it’s encouraging to see the public have a huge appreciation for what the hospitality sector provides to communities. There is strong appetite to support these businesses and workers in getting back on their feet. While measures like having more hand sanitiser available and training staff to introduce new cleaning regimes may be more simply implemented, social distancing measures will mean far fewer customers can be served at one time. As a result, there is deep concern about how hospitality businesses will survive economically in the short and long term. We are grateful for the government’s support to date, however there is still much more work to be done and it’s vital that this continues.”