A majority of people want to see social distancing and sanitisation measures “overtly put in place” before then they will be comfortable to return to pubs and restaurants, new data has revealed.
It comes after Service Monitor hosted an online focus group with a cross section of frequent pub and restaurant guests to understand their views on how Covid-19 will impact the hospitality sector.
The market research agency found that there is a small top tier of people who will go to a venue regardless of what anti-Covid measures have been implemented, and “don’t care about the potential risk as they have no health issues”.
There is also a small bottom tier of people who are not planning to visit regardless of the safety measures introduced. This group mainly includes more at risk individuals and people living with young or older families.
Additionally, it found regardless of whatever pubs and restaurants put in place, the middle and bottom tier said they will stay away until they see a “consistent and significant drop” in the infection / death rate.
Service Monitor said: “The main issue for customers is the fear of being too close to other people – no matter how many sanitising stations are deployed. To this end, they place a huge emphasis on management to control their guests – both in terms of numbers and their behaviour.
“There is a lot of scepticism surrounding what the pub atmosphere will feel like, given the implementation of all the distancing, cleansing, masks, gloves and plexiglass screens measures. The sentiment of the focus group echoed ‘I don’t particularly relish being served by someone in a hazmat suit’.”