A consumer insight report to assess the impact of Covid-19 on consumer habits has found that 89% of consumers would like to see outlets going “above beyond” any government advice, to provide “maximum protection”.
The Safe to Trade consumer insight report, designed to track customer sentiment around returning to food and drink establishments has also revealed that half of consumers aren’t confident that the government guidelines will go far enough, with 96% of customers wanting to see venues rated in terms of their Covid-19 compliance.
The consumer insight report comes from the Safe to Trade Body which has been formed by Shield Safety Group (SSG), alongside leading industry experts, to help businesses reopen safely and to increase consumer confidence as people return to the country’s bars and restaurants.
It also found that 56% of customers are unsure or lack the confidence that the government’s guidelines will ensure their personal safety, let alone that of high risk or shielding friends and relatives. Half of respondents (51%) are “yet to be convinced” that the guidelines will protect those deemed high-risk / shielding.
Nine out of ten respondents would also choose one venue over another if it clearly showed it conformed to, or surpassed, government safety standards and 94% of consumers would like to see industry experts advising on venue safety practices.
Mark Flanagan, CEO at Shield Safety Group, which administers the Safe to Trade Scheme, said: “The hospitality industry has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the next six to 12 months businesses in the sector are going to have to re-think how they engage with and reassure their loyal customers if they are to quickly start to regain lost revenue, as well as reassure both colleagues and customers.
“It’s clear from the Safe to Trade insight report that consumers don’t trust the government to go far enough to ensure their safety. If consumer confidence is to be supercharged and customers are to come back through the doors in serious numbers, then the industry is going to have to grab the bull by the horns and demonstrate that restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels are COVID-safe spaces.”
He added: “Consumers are demanding more and the hospitality businesses that will win, in the ‘new normal’, will be the ones that listen, respond and make the customer feel safe.”