UK consumers return to hospitality venues faster than last year

UK consumers return to hospitality venues faster than last year

A recent survey by UKHospitality, backed by data from CGA, has revealed that UK consumers are returning to hospitality venues this summer more rapidly than when the industry reopened last year. Whilst the sector continues to be affected by staffing shortages, the widespread return of customers to venues is a development that will inspire positivity for hospitality staff and business owners alike.

More customers visiting venues

The survey has found that 56% of consumers have visited a hospitality venue since 19th July – also known to many as Freedom Day – compared with just 35% returning to venues during the same time period in 2020. Last year it took over six weeks to reach the same volume of returning customers, demonstrating a clear level of growth. On top of that, 45% of those surveyed who said they had not yet visited a hospitality venue reported that they expect to do so within the next month. These results show clear signs of hospitality recovery in the UK, giving businesses across the nation a reason to be optimistic.

Growing consumer confidence

The results of the survey suggest that increased consumer confidence in the hygiene and cleanliness measures being put in place by the hospitality industry is a big factor in the return to bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Venues have put significant measures in place to protect both staff and customers, and this has had a positive impact throughout the country.

When the hospitality sector reopened last summer, many consumers were naturally nervous. Cleanliness and hygiene were reported as being the main deciding factor when choosing which venue to visit. It’s now dropped down to fourth place, falling behind price, convenience, and quality of food or drinks. This marks a movement back towards pre-pandemic values, with cleanliness and hygiene being the fifth biggest concern for consumers before the pandemic began.

An increase in revenue levels

The return of customers to venues throughout the UK means that revenues are starting to grow once again in the hospitality industry, which is welcome news for business owners. However, the sector has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels. Growth is partially being hampered by staff shortages, with hospitality venues currently having a 10% vacancy rate, equivalent to 210,000 jobs.

JW Recruitment specialises in hospitality recruitment, including bar and hotel management recruitment. To find out more about how our recruitment services can support your business as we move out of lockdown please get in touch.