63% of Brits say they will return to restaurants and bars in first month of re-opening

Some 63% of British consumers say they will return to restaurants, bars or cafes in the first month these places reopen, according to Global information company The NPD Group.

The figure comes from its second ‘Covid-19 British Foodservice Sentiment Study’ that shows despite the figure trust will be an “important issue” when foodservice operators re-open for business this summer.

Almost six out of 10 respondents (58%) said restaurants and bars are the riskiest places to be infected with Covid-19, and nearly two thirds (64%) said they will only select restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that they trust.

In addition, it found that three quarters (76%) stated that good hygiene will be a “more important factor” in choosing a restaurant than before the lockdown. The same percentage say they want to see strict rules to ”prevent contagion” and 74% prefer restaurants that can ”guarantee social distancing”.

The NPD survey also found that a “clear majority” of consumers still approve of the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown of foodservice. In March 2020, 62% of respondents agreed with the policy and this has now increased slightly to 64%.

Dominic Allport, insights director foodservice, The NPD Group, said: “The majority of people in our survey plan to return to restaurants, bars and cafes within a month of lockdown ending, but in order to do so, they’ll need to trust operators to offer safe environments from the get-go. Our data shows that consumers were already acutely aware of cleanliness in eating out establishments before Covid-19.

“As the industry moves towards reopening, operators will need to make this a top priority in order to encourage people back into their operations. I’m certain operators will be successful in creating the high level of trust that consumers want on-premise. Understandably, there will still be some people who are reluctant to go out. Operators can build this into their channel strategy and encourage more people to try delivery, especially older age groups.”

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