There will be significant venue closures if government guidelines don’t change and sector-specific support isn’t improved, say independent pub, bar and restaurant operators
Some 23% of operators questioned in a poll by hospitality insight experts CGA say their businesses will close by the end of the year. Almost half (46%) believe they will have to close by the middle of next year at the latest.
Business and consumer confidence has plummeted since the introduction of the 10pm curfew. CGA analyst Karl Chessell told attendees of a recent webinar that 77% of consumers say they will not go out, or will go out for a shorter period, as a result of the curfew.
This is supported by sales data suggesting that revenues were affected as soon as the Prime Minister announced the curfew. Chessell pointed to figures showing that, compared to the equivalent day last year, rate of sales were down 25% on Wednesday 23 September (the day before the curfew was introduced), 35% on Thursday 24, and 37% on Friday 25.
A key bit of consumer research found that 34% of people out socialising said they would invite friends to their house, or visit a friend’s house, post curfew to continue socialising.
Figures also revealed that the bar sector has been slower to re-open, with just 75% of venues open by the end of August, compared to 91% of pubs and 80% of restaurants.