Trade poll finds 67% of operators couldn’t open with a booze ban enforced

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Industry opinion: the rumoured temporary ban on selling alcohol for pubs when they reopen was blasted by the sector as 'not reopening at all'
Industry opinion: the rumoured temporary ban on selling alcohol for pubs when they reopen was blasted by the sector as 'not reopening at all'

Related tags Lumina Intelligence Government Legislation Alcohol Beer

More than two thirds (67%) of businesses would be unable to reopen if the Government banned the sale of alcohol, a sector survey has found.

Conducted by Lumina Intelligence on behalf of The Morning Advertiser​, MCA​, Big Hospitality ​and Restaurant​, the latest edition of the Hospitality Leaders Poll surveyed 289 operators from across the sector.

Voices from across the trade slammed the rumoured reports​ around the possibility of barring reopened pubs from selling alcohol.

In the poll, almost a fifth (19%) stated if the Government prevented the selling alcohol, it would have an ‘extreme impact’ on their business.

Some 8% said it would be ‘very impactful’, 3% ‘somewhat impactful’ with 1% saying ‘slightly impactful’ and 1% ‘not at all impactful’.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently suggested lateral flow testing could be used to help reopen parts of the hospitality industry​ such as nightclubs and theatres.

Summer trading prospects

Just one in five (20%) said it was very important rapid tests were used to encourage people back to work and to urban hospitality venues.

However, 40% believe the vaccine rollout should take priority and a further 40% weren’t sure rapid testing would make it a difference.

On the anticipated change to national tiered restrictions rather than regional, just 29% said this would be helpful to their businesses.

A fifth (20%) however, said this would be unhelpful, with almost a quarter (24%) feeling neutral on the subject, 6% expecting no impact and 21% not aware of any anticipated changes.

Following transport secretary Grant Shapps’ comments, suggesting people shouldn’t make holiday plans, operators were asked to rate their summer trading expectations.

Almost a third (31%) were ‘neutral’ on the prospects, a quarter (25%) rated odds as ‘good’ and 13% said ‘poor’.

Loan change impact

The same percentage (13%) were unsure on what the summer would hold while 11% expect it to be ‘very good’ and 6% said ‘very poor’.

Respondents were also asked how useful the change of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme that allows for an earlier payment holiday was to their businesses.

The results were split with 22% saying ‘somewhat useful’, 18% ‘not useful at all’ 18% and the same proportion (18%) were ‘unsure’.

Some 15% said it was ‘very useful’, 14% said ‘extremely useful’ and 11% said it would be ‘slightly useful’.

The poll has surveyed operators on the confidence in the business for the future. In the latest edition, about 60% showed levels of confidence.

Broken down, this responses were 5% ‘very confident’, 13% ‘confident’ and 42% ‘quite confident’ with the remaining 40% ‘not confident’.

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