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Exclusive research: business leaders reveal their expectations for reopening

01 July 2020 by

Hospitality business leaders expect to operate at just 42% of pre-lockdown turnover, with half of businesses surveyed predicting they will achieve less than 10% of their pre-lockdown profit in 2020, according to exclusive new research.

The CatererBusiness Leaders Recovery Report, powered by CGA, has found that though trading out of lockdown will be tough for some time to come, businesses remain optimistic, with 83% confident that their business would be trading in summer 2021.

Encouragingly, the majority of the 164 business leaders quizzed said they planned to open all of their sites by September, although 17% won't be fully operational until 2021, with 6% stating some sites will permanently close.

On average, the leaders planned to retain 71% of their staff once the furlough scheme ends, which means that almost a third of the industry's workforce could be lost.

The research provides a comprehensive picture of the challenges hotel, restaurant, foodservice and pub and bar operators face as the industry begins its rebuilding programme, along with how they plan to deal with them. It provides in-depth analysis of expected business levels, the formats tipped for success and how operators are tailing their product to the new normal.

For example, pre-ordering has also jumped up business priorities, with 34% of leaders prioritising this as a growth opportunity for their business and 47% of leaders agreeing that third-party delivery services were well-positioned for success.

Another clear priority to emerge was the need to restore consumer confidence, with three-quarters of respondents citing it as the greatest threat to their business.

According to the business leaders those consumers will have changed their habits too, with 44% tailoring marketing to local business and to a more safety and health conscious guest.

CGA research and insight director Charlie Mitchell said that the results highlight some green shoots, despite the challenging climate to which hospitality will return.

He added: "Our hospitality leaders are demonstrating an eagerness to reopen the majority of their sites as quickly as is safe to do so, to capitalise on a pent-up demand from consumers from the hospitality experiences that have been missed over the lockdown period.

"However, the long-term impacts of the pandemic are predicted to have a lasting impact on the industry, extending into 2021. It will be establishments and operators that are able to successfully balance the fundamental, yet perhaps contrasting, needs of safety and experience that best navigate the recovery."

View the full Caterer Business Leaders Recovery Report

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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