Half of operators say grants still not enough, poll finds

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Looking ahead: the poll also asked operators on their reopening thoughts
Looking ahead: the poll also asked operators on their reopening thoughts

Related tags Lumina Intelligence Finance Legislation Government

Some 53% of operators in an industry survey stated while the grants of up to £18,000 were welcome, the funding was not enough help given the extended period of closure.

The Hospitality Leaders Poll, which is conducted by Lumina Intelligence on behalf of The Morning Advertiser​, MCA​, Big Hospitality ​and Restaurant​, found more than a third (38%) of the 139 operators asked said the support would help see them through the current lockdown.

However, 6% stated the funding was ‘too little’ too late’ and 3% were unsure if it would help them through restrictions.

Looking ahead, the majority (63%) expressed a positive outlook on consumer confidence when the sector can reopen.

Reopening thoughts

Furthermore, almost a one-in-five (17%) had a negative outlook with 19% neutral and 1% unsure on how consumer confidence would be.

Continuing on predictions for reopening, the poll also quizzed respondents on how much people’s behaviour has changed in the past year, with a particular focus on working and travelling to city centres.

Some 67% said this had ‘somewhat changed’ and thought people will return to city centres gradually but in smaller numbers than before the pandemic.

A further 19% believe behaviour has highly changed and people will rarely travel to city centres, having permanently shifted to working form home and consuming in venues in their local areas.

Just over one-in-10 (12%) didn’t think it would change at all and predicted people will return to city centres to pre-Covid levels when all restrictions are lifted and 3% were unsure.

Business confidence

The survey also touched on technology with almost half (45%) saying they would revert back to traditional sales channels with 36% planning to maintain and continue to invest in digital channels such as delivery, mobile ordering and click and collect services once restrictions are lifted.

In addition to this, a fifth (21%) said digital technologies had been important their business’ survival amid the pandemic, with a further 12% saying ‘very important’.

However, 31% said it had been ‘neither important nor unimportant’, a quarter said ‘unimportant’, 6% ‘very unimportant’ and 5% were unsure.

Each week, the survey has asked respondents on their confidence in the future of their businesses. The latest results found more than three quarters (75%) are confident, with the remaining quarter ‘not confident’.

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