Consumers divided over mask wearing relaxation in hospitality

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Survey results: More of the 66 and over aged customers want face masks to stay in pubs (image: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)
Survey results: More of the 66 and over aged customers want face masks to stay in pubs (image: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Related tags: Health and safety, Legislation, Training

Consumers are divided over the removal of facemasks in hospitality settings, new research from HGEM has revealed.

Half (50%) of the 300 respondents said they believed masks should be worn in pubs, restaurants, and other foodservice venues. This is in contrast to more than two-thirds of consumers (70%) that think that it is too soon to drop the legal requirement for wearing face masks overall. 

Respondents were adamant that mask wearing should continue in transport settings such as trains (94%) and airplanes (91%), and supermarkets (80%).

Staff facemasks

Almost four out of five consumers believe staff must continue to wear facemasks, and moreover, 58% would be less inclined to visit a venue if they knew mask wearing was not required for staff.

In the 66 and over age group, 71% believe that mask wearing overall should remain in pubs, bars and restaurants while Millennials in the 26-to-35 age group have the opposing view, with only 35% believing that masks should remain.

Just over a third (36%) of consumers wouldn’t be swayed either way whether staff members were wearing face masks or not. A larger percentage of women (80%) would like to see mask wearing continued amongst front-of-house teams in contrast to the percentage in men (73%).

Gender split

The survey also revealed that women would be less likely to visit a venue if staff members weren’t wearing masks (61%) over men (51%).

Meanwhile, consumer confidence overall has taken a big dip in the last month, as HGEM’s Covid Safety Tracker​ indicated an average score of 7.19 out of 10, the lowest since December 2020, which is in stark contrast to the previous peak of 7.88 in June 2021.

Customers over 56 in particular are feeling far less confident than in the previous months, as the average score is only 6.5 out of 10.

Related topics: Health & safety

Related news

Show more