Rapid testing ‘may have limited benefits’ for almost half of operators, poll finds

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Questions asked: the poll quizzed operators on trading outside prospects and the future of their business
Questions asked: the poll quizzed operators on trading outside prospects and the future of their business

Related tags: Lumina Intelligence, Health and safety, Legislation, Multi-site pub operators

Using lateral flow testing as a workable way of reopening parts of the trade where social distancing is not possible could have some benefits to 46% of operators, research has found.

The Hospitality Leaders Poll, conducted by Lumina Intelligence on behalf of The Morning Advertiser​, MCA​, Big Hospitality ​and Restaurant​, surveyed 248 operators from across the industry.

The use of rapid testing was seen as “very promising” to 8% of respondents, with a further 8% saying it wouldn’t be viable at all and almost four in 10 (38%) unsure.

It also asked how confident business leaders were when it comes to the Government’s roadmap to reopening going to plan.

The majority (68%) had a low level of confidence, while 17% had a high degree it would go to plan, 13% had some degree and 2% were unsure.

Outside trading prospects

As part of the roadmap, the Government has stated pubs can trade outside only from 12 April​ (subject to the four tests around vaccines and the preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed being met).

The poll asked respondents about the viability of trading outside when allowed and the results were a mixed bag.

Some 30% said this was not viable for them due to a lack of outdoor space while a third (33%) said it wasn’t viable for other reasons.

Almost two in 10 (19%) will attempt to reopen and 11% think reopening in this way is definitely viable for them while 6% were undecided.

From 17 May, again subject to the tests being met, pubs can reopen for trading indoors as well and the survey asked operators if they are able to keep their business solvent until then.

May service

Most (83%) said they could hang on with grants, savings and personal/private investment with a further 11% able to trade takeaway and delivery to maintain sales.

However, 3% stated 10 weeks was too long and they will be forced to enter into insolvency proceedings, with 8% unsure if their business will still be solvent until May.

Participants in the survey have been asked about their levels of confidence in the future of their business each week.

The latest results found four in 10 (40%) are ‘not confident’ – an increase from 38% in last week’s edition.

However, those who are ‘very confident’ rose significantly from 5% last week to 30% this week. Respondents who said they were ‘confident’ also increase from 13% last week to almost a quarter (22%) now but those who answered ‘quite confident’ fell from 42% to now at 8%.

Related topics: Legislation

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