Responses to the 'We Hear You' survey, put together by CGA, UKHospitality and review platform provider Yumpingoo, shows that while 48% of customers accept their eating and drinking out experience felt ‘different’, 94% were happy with the safety steps in venues they visited; and 96% said that would be likely to recommend a visit to friends and family.
The recently launched 'We Hear You' campaign is designed to gauge consumer feedback and identify ways to increase consumer confidence and footfall.
According to the survey, around 65% of customers had visited more than one venue since the reopenings; and from the 4,866 customers who provided feedback, 52% felt that their experience was not compromised by safety precautions.
Of those that felt their experience was compromised, 88% understood that the precautions were necessary.
The research confirms that the level of protection put in place by operators is an important factor when it comes to how confident consumers feel, with 77% of diners stating that they considered the precautionary measures being taken before visiting a venue; while nearly half admitted to pre-visit nerves.
The majority of those that have eaten out since establishments reopened have stuck to places they know well, with just 14% of consumers trying new places.
However, 91% stated that their overall experience made them feel reassured enough to visit again.
“We know the next six months will be crucial for hospitality and survival will depend on a concerted and joint effort from everyone within the industry," says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.
“We’ve worked closely with the Government to ensure safe venues upon re-opening and the ‘We hear you’ tool, with help from operators, will ensure their customers are happy, comfortable and more importantly confident that the industry is listening and doing what it can to make them feel safe.”
Highlighting the challenges faced by the hospitality industry in the months ahead, CGA research reveals that only one in three consumers who previously ate out regularly have returned to doing so.
“As an industry, we must unite to support 120,000 plus restaurants, bars and cafés in the UK to make sure the industry rebounds as quickly as possible," says Yumpingo founder and CEO Gary Goodman.
"The sector responded brilliantly at the start of the pandemic, but the re-opening phase now offers up a new challenge.
"We hope that ‘We hear you’ will not only provide customers with a sense of confidence, but will also relieve some of the pressure operators across the UK are facing with new guidelines and rules.”