Take A Punt On A Pint? Brits Set To Spend £210m On Booze
Pubs, bars and restaurants are preparing to welcome 1.5 million extra customers as establishments in England re-open. Drinking venues were open once again for business from Saturday, but coronavirus safety measures mean they won’t feel quite the same.
Research by The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) suggests that 33% of British adults will be taking a trip to the pub in the first week of them reopening since the closure of pubs, bars and restaurants in March.
A normal July weekend will see around 5 million pub visits, but the CEBR reckons that drinking establishments will welcome in more than 6.5 million boozers on Saturday and Sunday. The drinkers are expected to spend a whopping £210 million, a figure that will give an important boost to the beleaguered hospitality industry.
But although lockdown restrictions have eased in some respects, new safety measures have been put in place in an attempt to prevent new outbreaks of COVID-19. These include pubs taking the names and contact details of all customers and holding that data for three weeks in order to aid contact tracing in the event of fresh outbreaks of the virus.
There will also be social distancing rules in place that include no drinking at bars, and no ordering at the bar – orders must be placed at tables or via mobile apps. Customers will also only be allowed in groups of up to six people – and with only two households permitted to mix.
But although the return to trading is good news, the CEBR thinks that the average profits for reopened pubs will still only be less than half normal levels. This is partly because it says UK citizens are still cautious about a full reopening of pubs and bars, but also that, even with the new ‘one-metre-plus’ social distancing rules, many venues will be severely restricted in the number of customers they will be able to serve.
So while fully reopened pubs may be the first signs of good trading news for the hospitality sector, it will be some time before venues can fully recover from the impact of the pandemic – even post-lockdown.