Hospitality sector missing out on £6.75bn by not adapting to modern life

The hospitality sector is missing out on £6.75bn by not responding to growing demand from the ‘gig economy’ consumer to operate outside of ‘usual hours’, a study from Barclays has shown.

Only a third of British workers (37%) work a typical nine to five day, meaning leisure time has shifted.

A quarter of workers would now say they like to go to a museum in the evening (between 6pm-11pm), over one in ten (13%) film fans would choose to go to the cinema in the small hours (11pm-5am), and almost one in five (19%) late-night diners would choose to get a takeaway after closing time (11pm-5am).

Over a fifth of British workers (22%) saying they need different opening hours.

The report also finds that a similar number (19%) expect 24 hour hospitality services. By responding to this demand, restaurants (£2.2bn per annum), takeaways (£2.1bn), and pubs, bars and clubs (£1.2bn) could benefit the most.

On average, Gen-Z workers (18-24 year olds) is the age group most frustrated that it cannot access hospitality services when it wants. A third (33%) of this generation say that they expect 24-hour services, compared to a quarter (25%) of millennials (25-34 year olds) and just 19% of 35-44 year olds.

Over a third (34%) of 18-24 year olds explained the reason behind their demand for “out of hours” services as due to long working hours, compared to 30% of millennials (25-34 year olds) and 20% of 45-54 year olds.

The to order a takeaway at unusual hours is high among young workers (18-24 year olds), with (37%) keen for delivery between 11pm and 5am. This opens up the opportunity for takeaway services to extend their hours, with customers willing to boost the sector by up to £2.2bn.

Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays, said: “Adapting to the changing consumer demand presents a substantial opportunity for businesses. Our research has shown that leisure operators could access a staggering £6.75bn per annum by accommodating their customers’ evolving needs which have been brought on by changing working patterns. While that may be a challenge for some providers, understanding the value of the opportunity makes the prize more tangible.

“Those that don’t adapt to this type of newly developing consumer demand risk being left behind and in this ever-competitive environment, businesses need to weigh up the value of the long-term opportunity over the cost of the short-term investment.”

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