Curfew extension will make ‘little impact' to almost half of operators, survey says

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Industry response: the Hospitality Leaders Poll surveyed 316 board-level operators running pubs, restaurants and food-to-go operations
Industry response: the Hospitality Leaders Poll surveyed 316 board-level operators running pubs, restaurants and food-to-go operations

Related tags Lumina Intelligence Government Curfew

The one-hour extension of the curfew will have ‘little impact’ to 47% of operators’ businesses, a trade poll has found.

The Hospitality Leaders Poll, conducted by Lumina Intelligence for The Morning Advertiser​, MCA​, Big Hospitality ​and Restaurant​, asked its 316 respondents how much the change in closing time will affect them.

Some 23% said there would be a ‘large impact’ and about a quarter (26%) won’t see any impact and 4% saying there would be an impact.

The survey also asked how much the wet-led sector had been unfairly targeted in the Prime Minister’s Winter Plan.

The large majority (85%) said it had while one in 10 (10%) said it hadn’t, 3% said it would have a ‘little impact’ on wet-led businesses and the same percentage (3%) said a ‘large impact’.

Punitive treatment

One operator said: “The Government appears to have singled out pubs for punitive treatment which, based on the clear evidence that well-run community pubs are not a cause of spreading the virus, is completely politically motivated.

“The Government is causing unnecessary and irreversible damage to our economy, our society and the wellbeing of the British people. We can only hope that sufficient MPs vote against the cabinet's proposals and allow hospitality to operate responsibly through December and into 2021. Failing that they must compensate hospitality businesses to protect jobs and ensure we have a hospitality sector for the future.”

Another claimed the Government seemed “intent on destroying the wet-led sector”.

Respondents were also asked if they would prefer to stay closed over Christmas rather than risk extended lockdown measures going into spring. Most (60%) would rather close over the festive period, while 40% wouldn’t.

However, one operator said the festive season is what makes the hospitality industry and how the trade makes its margins.

Economic certainty

They added: “To take this month out of the equation on top of the year we have had, and the lack of funding to support just paying the fixed costs at least is a nail in the coffin. we are a small business yet we employ 45 young adults, who are already feeling the mental strain, we need to keep them motivated and productive. The economic certainty for this country lies in hospitality.

Asked on their thoughts about the tier system, most (49%) business leaders were ‘unsure’ if their business would survive into the spring under the new measures.

A fifth (21%) said they ‘weren’t confident at all’, a similar amount (20%) said they were ‘quite confident’ and one in 10 (10%) were ‘very’ confident.

The survey has polled the levels of confident in business leaders week on week and in the latest questionnaire, those who are ‘not confident’ worsened week on week from 38% to 54%.

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