That’s the headline message in CGA and UKHospitality’s latest Future Shock report, entitled Hospitality: COVID and Beyond.
The report finds mounting positivity about the future with four in five (79%) business leaders now feeling optimistic about market prospects for the next 12 months, while consumers are increasingly confident about going out.
However, it also highlights strong headwinds facing hospitality in the recovery period, on staff recruitment, rising costs, high debt levels, tax burdens and more.
Future Shock presents exclusive CGA insights into important post-COVID consumer trends, including growing use of delivery, technology and local venues, increased awareness of health and ethics, more advance planning in eating and drinking out, and a polarisation between people spending freely and those who have been hit financially by the pandemic.
Future Shock also features UKHospitality’s analysis of policy-related issues facing hospitality in the second half of 2021, including licensing regulations, calorie labelling, advertising restrictions, sustainability strategies and the staffing crisis, and sets out what the trade body is doing on members’ behalf to minimise adverse effects on the sector.
The research also provides a ‘definitive assessment of the pandemic’s impact on the sector, including the loss of more than £80bn in sales in just 12 months, the permanent closure of nearly 10,000 licensed premises, and a collapse in inbound tourism’.
“Hospitality is a fragile sector after 16 months of impinged trading, but true to the very nature of hospitality, many of our business leaders are nevertheless optimistic about the future as this report demonstrates," says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.
"The pandemic has highlighted the incredible value of our industry, not only economically but also for our communities, the workforce and our social and mental well-being. There is no doubt it will be a rough recovery but UKHospitality will be working with the Government, industry stakeholders and our members to gain support from Government and reduce any unnecessary red tape or burdensome legislation so we have a conducive operating environment to aid a fruitful return to pre-pandemic trading levels.”