Two thirds of operators favour full lockdown now to enable Christmas trading

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Trade wide: the survey polled operators across the hospitality industry
Trade wide: the survey polled operators across the hospitality industry

Related tags: Multi-site pub operators, Legislation, Government

Some 64% of hospitality operators would rather have a temporary lockdown now if it meant they could open over Christmas, a trade survey has found.

The latest Hospitality Leaders poll, carried out by Lumina Intelligence on behalf of The Morning Advertiser​, MCA​, Big Hospitality​ and Restaurant​ surveyed 262 board-level operators running pubs, restaurants and food-to-go operations.

However, those who favoured a temporary closure now said it wouldn’t be possible without further Government support.

Respondents were fairly split when asking if the Government had been clear enough when explaining the new guidance – 58% said no and 42% said yes.

Pivoting business

For the 163 wet-led operators who participated in the poll, more than a quarter (28%) said it wasn’t financially viable for them to become food-led to avoid closure.

Some 26% said it wasn’t possible, a fifth (20%) said it was a potential option and 24% were already working on pivoting their business.

One operator said: “The new system is totally unfair to pubs that do not sell food. When we reopened on 4 July, there was only a slight rise in Covid-19 cases.

“Since the universities and schools opened the rise has been very rapid. I just think this Government should not keep pointing the finger at the hospitality trade."

Pub compliance

The operator added: “It is a real time of hard time for all at the moment with no end in sight, but these new rules are unfair. What is the difference if a food pub that does food can stay open, but wet-led has to close? This does not make sense to me.

“They are both confined spaces double standard not good enough we all close or stay open. As we are all aware, pubs [are] complying with the rules of masks, table service and all manner of cleaning regulations.

“I don’t see any of this when I enter a supermarket or any big shopping centres, there seems only to be all this aimed at the pubs, clubs and restaurants. Get your act together Boris.”

The weekly poll also asks respondents how confident they feel in the future of their business. The latest survey found almost half (48%) expressed a level of confidence – the same as the previous week.

Related topics: MA500 Business Club

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