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Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead
Over lockdown, we’ve all missed various different aspects of our previous ‘normal’ lives. Whether that’s being able to hug friends and family, going to the cinema or even going on holiday, there’s so many activities that we’ll all never take for granted again. However, for many people, another activity on that list is eating and drinking out; going for a meal with your loved ones or meeting your friends for a drink at your local are all important parts of our social lives. And with Britain’s bustling hospitality scene, many businesses are looking forward to welcoming back their patrons, at least at a social distance.
First, it was non-essential retail and now it’s hospitality’s turn: but, from the 4th July, will customers be planning to return?
We surveyed over 100 people across all adult age groups to reflect on their plans for this weekend – and the results were mixed.
Of those surveyed, only 13% of people said that they had plans to visit a hospitality venue this weekend, with 62% of people giving an outright ‘no’. However, interestingly, 25% of people said that they would return “soon”, showing promising signs that customers were beginning to make plans beyond this weekend. This is perhaps mirrored in visits to non-essential retailers, with 41% of people saying that they had been in-store since 15th June, only two weeks ago, suggesting that whilst a return to store spaces might be initially slow, consumer confidence should follow similar signs of growing.
So, if people aren’t planning on visiting a venue this weekend, what are their reasons? 42% of those surveyed said that they didn’t feel safe doing so, whereas 23% of customers said that they weren’t necessarily ready to be around other people. Reassuringly, only 9% of people said that they didn’t trust the measures that vendors have put in place. For this particular group, systems such as OMIO Motion help with the movement of people around a space, meaning that staff don’t have to police this themselves and also allowing customers to feel safe in the space that they’re in; with a simple set-up, retailers and hospitality vendors can safely re-open whilst seeing a good financial return in just a few weeks.
As for people who plan to visit venues this weekend, there seems to be a popular choice; of those surveyed, 59% said that they planned on visiting a pub or bar, with 29% of people planning on visiting a restaurant or café: 12% of people said that they planned on visiting both.
When talking about budgets, responses were quite varied. Some people were either looking to have a few drinks and spend up to £20 (12%), whereas 35% were looking to spend £21-40 with others relishing a return to their favourite vendors, looking to spend over £61 (35%). This variety suggests that whatever the hospitality venue and whatever the offering, vendors can still look to see good returns on customers coming back.
Whilst it’s exciting to see the small steps in our return to normality, it’s paramount that staff and customers can enjoy visiting their favourite businesses whilst staying safe. OMIO Motion allows retailers and hospitality vendors to control and measure occupancy levels, allowing them to adhere and enforce government guidelines. As the survey suggested, it’s also important to reassure customers and visitors that their welfare is being cared for. With a simple set-up, businesses can see a return on investment in just weeks.
If you’re a business, it’s also important to ensure that your systems ready, especially after so much downtime. Our return to trading checklist helps your store teams to get everything back up and running, allowing you to put more time into ensuring everyone’s safety whilst making sure that you’re ready to welcome everyone back with open arms.
Not sure how to navigate the new normal? Our tech experts are on hand to help. Click here to get in touch.