A snap poll by CGA has found new government restrictions have already hit consumer confidence, with 40% saying they will go out less often following the new measures.
The Consumer Pulse Survey indicates the measures may have further important impacts on behaviour, including shorter visits and an even greater reluctance to visit city centres.
Among people who often go out late, three-quarters will either stay for a shorter length of time (43%) or stay away in the late evening completely (34%). Of those who typically visit city centres, half (48%) say they are now less likely to visit venues – much more than those in rural areas (29%).
But the curfew might not have the government's desired effect of reducing late-night contact, the survey suggests. A third (34%) of British adults say they would be likely to invite friends back to their house after 10pm, and nearly as many (30%) admit they would seek out alternative locations to continue socialising.
CGA's research and insight director Charlie Mitchell said: "Our survey shows that having been encouraged out to restaurants, pubs and bars in August, large numbers of consumers are now likely to retreat. The new restrictions deal a major blow to operators who had got back on their feet after lockdown, and to city-centre and late-night operators in particular.
"With so many people signalling they will simply switch their socialising elsewhere, rather than in the hygienic environments that operators have worked so hard to create, these measures may not even have much beneficial impact. Businesses have responded nimbly to all the restrictions that have been placed on them so far, and will now be finding more innovative ways to sustain trade without compromising guests' safety."
The Consumer Pulse data is based on a nationally representative survey of 1,000 British adults on Tuesday 22 September.