Operators likely to cut back sites to rebuild after lockdown

Just a third of restaurant operators expect to reopen their full portfolios after lockdown, according to a report by the Business Confidence Survey.

The number of venues looks set to fall, despite government support and inventive business strategies during the closure period.

Around a third (35 per cent) of businesses said they will eventually reopen all of their sites for trading when allowed to do so, the report said.

A further third of operators told the latest Business Confidence Survey, which was conducted by CGA and Fourth, that they had yet to take a decision on closing sites.

Resilience will be higher among hotels. It is in restaurants and late-night venues that are expected to be the worst hit. Pubs will also be dramatically hurt.

But the majority of hospitality enterprises still said they expect to reopen in some way as the industry is phased back in to the economy. Owners in all areas of the industry said they think 70 per cent or more sites will relaunch. It is more a case of those with stretched portfolios having to trim back, perhaps.

We suppose, then, the prevailing message here is that the post-lockdown landscape will be about rebuilding, rather than starting from scratch. There are positives to be found.

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