Lumina's UK Restaurant Market Report 2020/21 has found that the value of the eating out market dropped £10bn to £8.9bn in 2020, following huge restrictions on trading throughout the year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. A large part of this contraction is expected to reverse but the market is still only expected to reach 58% of the value it was in 2019.
Lumina’s estimates for the year ahead are based on the roadmap to recovery outlined by the government last week, with all restrictions on social contact due to be removed on 21 June.
According to the report, 52% of consumers are very or extremely likely to dine-in at restaurants before June, but technology is anticipated to play a key role in reassuring consumers, as well as maximising footfall once restrictions ease.
In addition, 26% of consumers would be strongly encouraged to dine out in restaurants once lockdown is lifted if restaurants offered live music events. 23% would be strongly encouraged to dine out in restaurants once lockdown is lifted if a bottomless brunch was available and 17% if a restaurant hosted quiz nights, reiterating the importance of restaurants offering experiences that cannot easily be replicated at home.
The report also found that 40% of those surveyed either agree or strongly agree that they felt confident eating out regardless of contactless ordering and payment technology. This number increased to 56% of consumers if a restaurant has implemented technologies such as apps and QR codes, which limit contact with staff and hand-held menus.
“Despite pent up demand from consumers for returning to the channel, operators will need to work hard to reassure consumers of the safety measures in place," says Katherine Prowse, insight manager at Lumina Intelligence said.
“Technology will play a key role in doing this. Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they would be more confident in visiting a restaurant if contact with staff and menus is restricted through the use of apps and QR codes.”
To find out more about the report, click here.