The poll, conducted by Lumina Intelligence for Restaurant, BigHospitality, MCA and The MA and which spoke to 298 board level operators running pubs, restaurants and food to go operations, found that 63% of operators don’t think they can survive with the 10pm curfew in place unless they receive financial support from the Government.
This has jumped from last week’s figure of 35% in the same poll.
Not only is the early closing time restrictive for businesses, especially those who do a strng late night trade, it has also dampened consumer confidence, impacting on trade throughout the day, according to the industry, with 87% of hospitality operators believing that the 10pm curfew has impacted on consumer confidence.
“There has been a massive impact on consumer confidence and people are being told to work from home so minimising customers staying in accommodation and having business lunches, drinks after work, etc.”
Another operator says: “The 10pm curfew is a knee jerk reaction that was ill-informed, not validated by evidence or empirical data and is actually making the R number worse in the capital by tipping thousands of customers into the streets and public transport system en masse.”
“It’s so silly and they should just admit they got it wrong and reverse it.”
As the 10pm curfew moves into its second week, many in the hospitality sector say they do not trust to make the right decisions, with 73% of respondents in the poll saying they had no faith in its handling of the situation.
Confidence in the future fell again for another consecutive week, with just 48% of operators expressing a level of confidence in the future of their business, slipping below one in two for the first time. This was down from 58% the week before, and 67% the week before that.
Respondents in this week’s poll also voiced their concerns about the implementation of so called ‘circuit break’ lockdowns that could last a fortnight and would see restaurant, pubs and bars close like the measures recently introduced in Scotland.
“If the Government imposes a circuit break on top, that will probably kill our business as we will have to deal into emergency cash to keep all staff employed during a two-week period where we cannot trade,” says one restaurant owner.