24-hour party people: hospitality’s £6.75bn missed opportunity?

Drinks: Drinks
Other: Business

The UK’s hospitality industry is missing out on nearly £7bn of business a year, because it’s failing to keep up with changing consumer lifestyles, according to Barclays.

In its report published today, the bank says its research shows that only a third of British workers still work traditional 9-to-5 hours.

This, in turn, has an impact on when they want to access leisure services such as gyms, cinemas, bars and restaurants.

But the hospitality industry is often not geared up to serving this new leisure time. Restaurants, cinemas and gyms are often shut when a significant percentage of the population would like to use them.

Barclays estimates the lost revenue at £6.75bn.

The report, which sampled over 2,300 workers, found that 13% of film lovers would like to go to the cinema between 11pm and 5am, and almost one in five diners would like to access a takeaway after 11pm.

Over a fifth (22%) of workers claim that they need the hospitality industry to offer them different opening hours, while 19% say they expect services to be accessible 24 hours a day.

Generation Z (aged 18-24) are the most demanding in this respect, with 34% expecting venues to be open round the clock.

The report cites Deliveroo and Uber Eats as good examples of businesses tapping into this growth of on-demand eating, and says that if more restaurants extended their hours (particularly for take-away services) it could generate an extra £2.2bn of business.

Over a quarter of customers said that they would use hospitality services more often if they could book online at any hour of the day.

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About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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