Hospitality expects to face long term operating restrictions, survey finds

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality expects long term restrictions as price of reopening, Bizimply survey finds

Related tags PPE Restaurant Coronavirus lockdown

Hospitality operators expect increased trading restrictions to be in place for the foreseeable future, according to new research by workforce management specialist Bizimply.

The survey shows that more than 90% of businesses believe measures such as social distancing, wearing masks while not seated, and hand gel on entry will continue to be a trading requirement not just when they reopen, but in the longer term.

Despite this, though, the majority of operators also expect the sector to bounce back strongly with 86% of respondents anticipating high demand from customers once hospitality fully reopens.

The survey is comprised of responses from owners and senior managers of hospitality businesses including restaurants, bars, coffee shops and hotels, both managed and franchise-based, representing hundreds of venues across the UK.

A little over half of respondents (53%) said they would welcome a card or online check to confirm whether a customer has been vaccinated, but a substantial minority remain uncertain about the prospect of so-called vaccine passports being introduced.

“Politicians continue to debate the issue, but it would take time to set up a reliable system," comments Conor Shaw, Bizimply CEO.

"Many hospitality operators are looking to the Government for a clear message now on whether passports are the right way to go, so they can prepare.”

Despite expectations that employment will rise over the next year, the Bizimply survey also flags up a range of operator concerns about staff.

In total 93% believe that Brexit will have an impact on the availability of staff, with 40% expecting to not have enough suitably trained or experienced employees to call on when the business is able to fully reopen post lockdown.

Businesses also expect some staff to be reluctant to return to work post lockdown, with 86% saying they are investing in reassuring employees through Covid-specific measures such as PPE and increased hygiene.

A quarter are increasing their investment in technology to better manage their staffing. 

“While hospitality has relied on the skills and experience of migrant EU workers for a long time, and it’s not always possible to make a simple like-for-like replacement with UK staff, the survey shows very clearly that operators are taking the steps needed to address the issues they face,” says Shaw.

“Competition for the best people will be as strong as ever. The minimum response is for hospitality operators to ensure they have a workforce plan in place that will enable the business to fully reopen once restrictions are lifted, supported by robust systems that give them a clear understanding of their business in terms of labour requirements and costs.” 

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

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