Hospitality shifts down 68% on pre-lockdown levels, research finds

The hospitality industry is missing out on a “crucial post-lockdown renaissance” with shifts down 68.9% on pre-lockdown levels, according to new research by Wagestream.

The group said that even in England, where pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes have been able to open since 4 July , the number of shifts carried out by workers is still down 58.3%.

The whole of the UK went into lockdown on 23 March, but the rules on reopening have varied in Wales and Scotland.

Welsh pubs, cafes and restaurants have only been able to reopen outdoors since 12 July and in Scotland sites were only permitted to open indoors from 15 July. In Scotland, the number of shifts being worked is still down 73% since before lockdown.

Wagestream said many hospitality firms turned to takeaway and delivery services once they were unable to open. It noted that the sector hit “rock bottom” in early April, by which time the number of shifts had dropped 98% compared to normal.

Peter Briffett, CEO and co-founder of Wagestream, said: “The hospitality industry was uniquely susceptible to the Covid-19 crisis and it is in desperate need of our support. Pubs and restaurants must stage a dramatic fight back if they are to survive but they can only do that if people are willing to get back out there and spend.

“We know that the vast majority of pubs, bars and restaurants have moved heaven and Earth to make it business as usual as far as the comfort, safety and enjoyment of guests is concerned and we really hope they are rewarded for that in the weeks to come.”

He added: “The Chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which starts in August, is a fantastic way of encouraging people to support these firms. It will hopefully help put the afterburners on and drive more footfall to UK hospitality venues.”

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