Prices could rise in restaurants and pubs as a result of the pandemic

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Prices could rise in restaurants and pubs as a result of the pandemic Coronavirus reopening lockdown

Related tags: Coronavirus, Restaurant, Public house, QSR

Prices could rise in restaurants and pubs to compensate for the devastating impact of the Coronavirus, according to findings from the latest weekly Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA Insight/HIM.

The poll of 438 founders or board level operators across restaurants, pubs and food to go businesses found that 26% of operators plan to raise the price of drinks and that 22% will increases prices on food.

However, the majority (60%) plan to keep drinks prices the same and 52% will make no changes to the price of food. Just 3% of pubs plan to cut prices to lure in drinkers and 4% plan to cut prices on food.

Speaking to BigHospitality​ last month, Tommy Banks, chef-patron at The Black Swan at Oldstead, said that the increase in food costs has meant that restaurants were already working to very tight margins before the pandemic hit.

“The cost of produce was already going through the roof,” he said. “When this all finishes prices are going to have to go up if anything.”

While he said that restaurateurs would have to entice customers back through their doors, cutting prices was not something he would be prepared to do.

“I’m not going to put the prices up, but I am certainly not going to put them down. We much look at trying to be the best value possible.”

In the US there have been instances where, instead of increasing menu prices, some restaurants have added a small 'Coronavirus charge' for serving them during the pandemic, although no UK restaurants have said they will follow suit.

The poll also shows that the majority of businesses will not be doing temperature checks on customers on arrival at their pub or restaurant, with just 20% saying the planned to do this.

The vast majority (65%) also have no plans to introduce temperature checks alongside other safety measures, with 41% saying it would be impractical to manage, 12% saying it was the customer’s responsibility, and 9% because of the cost.

Another 15% of businesses said they were still undecided.

The poll also revealed that prospects for trade in the initial four weeks of reopening look bleak, with 40% of respondents expecting sales to be somewhere between 21% and 40% of pre-coronavirus levels.

Some 16% of businesses predict turnover will be less than 20%, with just 5% believing sales will be over 61% of what they were before for the first four weeks.

Related topics: Trends & Reports

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