Visiting a café or coffee shop was almost twice as popular as visiting a pub, restaurant or bar after lockdown restrictions were eased, a survey has found.
Allegra World Coffee Portal, which carried out the survey, found that 55% of 3,000 respondents said they had visited a café or coffee shop since the lockdown was eased on 4 July, second only to those who visited family and friends (69%), and almost double the 28% of respondents who visited pubs and bars and restaurants.
Of those who ventured to a café or coffee shop since that time, 22% of respondents made between five and nine visits, 21% visited twice and 17% made three visits.
Yet despite the public support, partly attributed to the success of the Eat Out to Help Out initiative and the temporary VAT cut, the survey suggests there are ‘difficult times ahead' for the sector, with longer-term government intervention required to ensure a sustainable recovery. Over half (51%) of those surveyed said they feared for the future of their local coffee shop because of the pandemic.
Allegra Group chief executive and founder Jeffrey Young said: "Cafés and coffee shops should be heartened by the wave of public support they have received since national lockdown restrictions were eased in July 2020.
"Nevertheless, this study indicates there are difficult times ahead for many businesses, and the extension of government support is likely needed to ensure the medium-term viability of the UK hospitality industry."
Meanwhile, consumer confidence around feeling safe in the coffee shop sector is high, with 47% of those surveyed saying they feel safe physically visiting coffee shops during the pandemic, suggesting that the majority of operators have redesigned venues to comply with social distancing and promote in-store safety measures.