A new report has confirmed that, while on-trade visits will almost certainly be reduced this holiday season, the reassurance of consumers through safety measures will be key to driving business during the festive period
According to research from data consultancy CGA in partnership with tech company Access Hospitality, 45% of British consumers said that they do not feel confident in visiting an on-trade venue for festivities this year. However, the survey also offered insights into how to build consumer confidence and maximise trade: 45% of consumers said that Covid-19 safety precautions are the most crucial consideration when choosing a venue for their festive celebrations; 41% reported hygiene and cleanliness as a top priority.
‘Christmas is certainly not cancelled,’ commented Henry Seddon, managing director of Access Hospitality. ‘The most pro-active operators will still be able to influence behaviour to maximise the crucial seasonal trading potential.’
Seddon noted that December 2019 saw six of the year’s top 10 trading days for drinks, with 37.5 million UK consumers visiting the out of home market: ‘Festive celebrations will undoubtedly look different this year, but if operators can put customers at ease by having robust safety precautions in place, there is a great opportunity to fill venues and generate profit.’
Here are other key findings from the report:
- Target audience: 82% of consumers who have returned to pubs, bars and restaurants since reopening were reassured enough to revisit, highlighting an important group to target for holiday trade.
- Christmas parties: While company Christmas parties aren’t likely to be popular this year, CGA found that during the 2019 holiday season, just 8% of visits to the on-trade were for work Christmas parties, while 46% and 34% were for celebrations with friends and family, respectively. Focusing on these smaller, intimate gatherings will be ‘more prudent’ for operators, according to CGA.
- Bookings: 22% of consumers are more likely to pre-book their on-trade visits this festive season. Streamlined booking systems and communication around how to book can help to ensure these reservations are made.
For further insights, operators can download the full report here.