Hospitality curfews ‘ineffective’, according to new report

Hospitality curfews, which were brought in to curb Covid-19 transmissions, were largely ineffective, according to a new report published by Stampede.

The hospitality software startup’s research, which analysed 2.4 million customer interactions across UK hospitality venues, revealed that customers went out safely before curfew, and the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme cannibalised weekend trade.

During the duration of the scheme, 48.1% of UK restaurant visits were on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, overtaking Friday and Saturday.

Furthermore, the report provided evidence that venues were far more dependent on returning customers post-lockdown than in bringing in new customers.

Patrick Clover, Stampede’s CEO and founder, said: “The data is clear, the UK hospitality sector cannot be turned off and on like a tap.

“The government may have chopped and changed its stance on hospitality restrictions, but human behaviour takes far longer to adjust, and the impact of lockdown is felt long after venues reopen.”

He added: “This is far from being a doom and gloom report, however. It explains how the UK’s wonderful hospitality venues reacted to lockdown and how real customers behaved in such strange times. It’s our view that they have acted far more responsibly than they have been given credit for.

“We also wanted to dig into the success and limitations of schemes like Eat Out To Help Out, which is still a subject of strong debate among restaurateurs. Yes, it did cannibalise some weekend trade, but it was an enormous success at bringing people back into restaurants and kickstarting the hospitality sector.”

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