According to CGA, customers are planning on spending more on hospitality visits in 2022 than they did pre-Covid, despite safety concerns, with 36% having said they missed going out during lockdown and the same amount have planned to treat themselves once restrictions are lifted today (24 February), while 27% want to make up for lost occasions.
Speaking at the MA Leaders Club conference in London today (Thursday 24 February), CGA managing director UK & Ireland Johnathan Jones, said: “We are now starting to see some real positives [and] some of the highest levels of consumer confidence.”
Data also showed visits to pubs have become more casual and less functional with less focus on it being a treat as 36% of customer stated their post-Covid visits will be more casual, an increase of 16% pre-Covid.
Casual catch ups
Local venues have benefitted from the rise in causal outings as many consumers stated they realised their local venues are as good as those further afield, with 60% finding them more convenient in 2021, which suggested these habits will continue longer term.
Jones added: “The impact on consumer mindset is clear to see.
“There is a live for the moment mindset in consumers now, they are planning to treat themselves and they are wanting to do that in the hospitality sector
“Functional occasions have lost [favour], the quick drink or quick bite to eat, it’s the casual catch up we missed in lockdown with family and friends which have increased.”
According to Jones, local venues have upped their game and improved their offerings to accommodate these new customers wanting to rediscover local areas.
Looking forward to year ahead
However, following the lifting of all Covid restrictions today, Jones anticipated the increased interest in staying local could have a positive impact on high streets.
He said: “When we get it right consumers are telling us they will spend more.
“With restrictions now being completely removed we can be optimistic and see further success driven into the high street.
“We can look forward to the year ahead.”