Two fifths of operators back another EOTHO scheme, survey says

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Questions asked: the latest edition of the survey polled more than 300 operators across the hospitality trade
Questions asked: the latest edition of the survey polled more than 300 operators across the hospitality trade

Related tags Eat Out To Help Out Treasury Food Government Lumina Intelligence

Some 61% of operators would support another scheme similar to Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) when reopen, an industry poll has found.

The scheme ran from 3 to 31 August 2020 and meant diners could receive 50% off their meals and non-alcoholic drinks when eating in at registered hospitality venues from Monday to Wednesday, up to £10 per person.

More than 52,000 businesses registered for the scheme with £849m being claimed by 30 September 2020.

A number of businesses went on to extend the discount into September and beyond with their own initiatives.

The Treasury also stated the scheme did not correlate with incidence of Covid transmission​ regionally after it came under fire recently for driving up infection rates.

Public support

The Hospitality Leaders Poll, conducted by Lumina Intelligence on behalf of The Morning Advertiser​, MCA​, Big Hospitality ​and Restaurant ​quizzed business owners on how likely they would be in favour of a similar initiative being introduced again.

While 34% were not at all likely, the same percentage (34%) were extremely likely, 13% were very likely, 9% were somewhat likely and 5% were slightly likely, with 3% unsure.

It went on to ask if operators thought the public would back another scheme with 29% 'extremely confident' they would, 28% 'very confident', 19% 'somewhat confident', 9% 'slightly confident', a further 9% 'not at all confident' and 6% unsure.

It also asked this week’s 315 respondents if they thought the Government would heed advice given by public health officials that hospitality was very low risk for coronavirus transmission.

The large majority (82%) didn’t think the Government would take this into account, with 6% thinking it would, leaving just over one in 10 (12%) unsure.

Sector-wide recovery

The survey also touched on recent reports around veteran pub operators such as former Greene King boss Rooney Anand raising investments in a bid to acquire pubs and asked respondents on their levels of confidence this would help with a sector-wide recovery when restrictions begin to be eased.

Almost two fifths (39%) were 'not at all confident' with a quarter (25%) saying they were unsure. However, 35% did show levels of confidence (16% 'somewhat confident', 15% 'slightly confident' and 4% 'very confident').

Operators were also asked when taking the cost of furlough (national insurance and pension contributions) into account, how confident they were on being able to avoid redundancies in their business.

The results were a mixed bag with 31% 'not confident at all', but almost a quarter (24%) 'somewhat confident' and 17% 'slightly confident'.

Some 15% were 'very confident', 6% 'extremely' so and 6% unsure.

The survey has polled respondents each week on how confident they were about the future of their business.

The latest results found 38% were 'quite confident', a third (33%) were 'not confident' with 19% saying they were 'confident' and one in 10 (10%) 'very confident'.

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