Permanent closures

Third of pub and restaurant owners plan to shut sites

Bar owners expect to shut some sites permanently

A third of pub and restaurant owners expect to close outlets permanently as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey of 120 industry leaders found deep pessimism about market prospects and the future of their own businesses.

Most are now actively engaged in planning for life after lockdown – although the majority of bosses are not expecting to reopen until June or July, if allowed.

The findings emerged in the latest CGA Business Confidence Survey in association with hospitality technology specialist Fourth, undertaken during the week beginning 20 April.

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“This is undoubtedly the most important business leaders’ survey we’ve delivered in a decade,” said Karl Chessell, director of food & retail at CGA. “At this critical juncture, how hospitality leaders plan for the recovery will be critical to the long-term success of their businesses.”

Just 36% believe they will eventually re-open all of their sites for trading, with another third yet to decide on closures.

But almost all expect to see a much-reduced market overall in the future, with somewhere between 70% and 80% of sites across pubs, bars, restaurants, late-night venues and hotels continuing to trade.

More optimistically, two thirds of bosses believe it will take them less than two weeks to get their sites ready to trade after lockdown is lifted, including a third (33%) who think they can do it in less than a week, while another 22% anticipate a two to four week preparation period.”

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