Brits remain cautious about returning to bars

12th August, 2020 by Owen Bellwood

More than half of drinkers in the UK are still hesitant about returning to bars and pubs following lockdown, according to new research.

CGA found 55% of drinkers remain cautious of returning to the pub

Research carried out by CGA for hospitality marketing specialist Down at the Social found 55% of people were apprehensive about returning to the on-trade due to worries about their health (72%), a second peak of Covid-19 (78%) and going back into a local lockdown (64%).

Daisy Whitehouse, managing director at Down at the Social, said: “It’s great to see that half of the country has made steps to returning to some level of norm in their drinking and dining habits and operators can rest assured that they are getting the safety measures right. But it is worrying that so many are still staying away.”

The 45% of respondents who have been to on-trade venues said they felt safe and the majority have been out multiple times. Of those polled who have visited bars and restaurants more than once, one in six have been out four or more times.

However, 36% of those who went out said they saw something that discouraged them from doing it again, and one-third of visitors to ‘premium’ venues said they were put off by reduced menus.

When selecting places to visit, most people said they stayed within 10 miles from home in a bid to avoid public transport and other risks. Only 2% admitted to travelling more than an hour for food or drinks.

Reservations in bars and pubs have proved popular since they were able to reopen, but CGA found 13% of people said they would not turn up despite reserving a table and 62% of those said they would not inform the venue.

Whitehouse added: “We can see that price is still a driver in the decision making process but safety remains the biggest concern as we worry about a second wave and local lockdowns.

“With a poor Christmas season on the horizon bars and restaurants are going to have to work hard to get people through the door at a time which is often their most profitable of the year.”

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