Hospitality sector: "we want to be open for usual at Christmas"

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality sector wants to be open for usual at Christmas

Related tags: lockdown, Lumina Intelligence, Restaurant, Public house, QSR, Casual dining

Almost two thirds of hospitality operators (64%) would rather shut down for a ‘circuit-breaker’ now if it meant they could open as usual for the Christmas period, according to the latest Hospitality Leaders Poll.

However, even those that would prefer that option said it wouldn’t be possible without Government support, while others said there was no guarantee it would be effective, and that Christmas trading would likely be impacted anyway.

The number of wet-led businesses that could successfully convert into food-led operations in order to meet tier 3 requirements for them to continue to trade is low, with 55% of respondents saying it wouldn’t be possible or wasn’t worth it from a financial point of view to make the change.

Only a quarter of respondents (24%) said they had already set plans in motion in order to do so, with another 20% saying they were looking at the situation and ‘potentially’ achieve it.

"The new system is totally unfair to pubs that do not sell food," says one publican. "When we reopened on 4 July there was only a slight rise in Covid cases. Since the universities and schools opened the rise has been very rapid. I just think that This government should not keep pointing the finger at the hospitality trade."

"The fact that a pub that does food can stay open but a wet-led one has to close does not make sense to me.They are both confined spaces [and these] double standard are not good enough."

"Government totally fails to appreciate that not all pubs serve food and not all pubs have outside space they can utilise in winter," says another publican.

A third respondent says: "It's not our businesses causing the issue it's the universities. We are doing all we can to be Covid safe at a high cost to our businesses without any recompense. It's a very sad situation for licensees right now."

When asked whether they feel the Government has been clear enough when it comes to explaining the new guidance, 58% of operators said no.

Confidence levels among the industry remain the same as the previous week, with 48% of respondents expressing a level of confidence, down from 67% last month.

The weekly poll, which is conducted by Lumina Intelligence for BigHospitality, Restaurant, MCA, and The MA, spoke to 262 board level operators running pubs, restaurants and food to go operations.

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