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Majority of UK consumers still uncomfortable eating out, says consumer index

The majority of UK consumers are still uncomfortable eating out, according to the latest EY Future Consumer Index.

The latest figures come as the hospitality sector has called on the government to extend the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which is set to end on 31 August.

Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, the survey of around 1,000 UK consumers found that just over a quarter of the British public are comfortable eating out in a restaurant, compared to 54% who said it would take “months” to “feel comfortable again”.

Comfort levels have risen since June’s EY Future Consumer Index, which was conducted before the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was introduced, with only 19% of those surveyed feeling comfortable eating out at the time.

Christian Mole, EY UK and Ireland’s head of hospitality and leisure, said: “The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a welcome intervention which has undoubtedly boosted both revenues and morale across the hospitality sector, but has only been in place for a limited time to a limited effect. 

‘‘It’s clear it will still take months before the majority of consumers feel comfortable with eating out so it’s not surprising that businesses are calling for an extension to the scheme beyond 31 August.”

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