Sixty per cent of Deliveroo's small, independent restaurant customers have said that they can only survive another three months of lockdown, according to a survey by the delivery company.
Giles Derrington, head of public affairs, UK & Ireland, at Deliveroo, spoke on the results of the survey this morning in a webinar organised and chaired by UK Hospitality.
In the results, 77% of Deliveroo's customers said that delivery would be fundamental to their survival.
Derrington said: "Our customers' biggest concern is food safety, and we all need to collectively nail this message moving forward. There is a huge amount of evidence that says that Covid-19 cannot be spread by food or food packaging. However, there is still such a real consumer fear around this.
"The government has to land the message that food is safe, including delivery, with a full-blown public information campaign."
The supply chain panel included Derrington, Timiko Cranwell, director of legal and corporate affairs at Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I and Miles Beale, chief executive, Wine & Spirit Trade Association,.
The panel also discussed the phased return of hospitality. Cranwell said Budweiser was well-placed to step up production and to work towards a phased re-stock to their customers, but stressed that the government's support package for hospitality needed to continue with a long-term plan. "Arbitrarily putting hospitality at the back of the queue for recovery will have serious consequences," she said.
She shared some behavioural insights from an internal psychologist report, stating that consumers would be looking for three key behaviours from suppliers and operators post-lockdown: enthusiasm from their trusted brands; competence and care; and loyalty and trust. She added "'Safe social' will be a term we will see and hear regularly."
Beale said his membership, which have 20% of their business in value terms in hospitality, stand to lose 40%-60% of their revenue. Cashflow problems were also being exacerbated by excise duties paid on stock pre-lockdown and invoices not being paid. "Our suppliers to the on-trade will disappear if the support from government for hospitality does not include suppliers."
Asked about the ‘new normal' by webinar host David Sheen, public affairs director for UK Hospitality, the panellists agreed that customer perception would be crucial to re-starting hospitality, with a clear blueprint for best practice and a phased schedule for returning to work "absolutely paramount."