‘Rule of six’ knocks consumer confidence to eat out, study reveals

The British public is now 31% less confident about visiting restaurants and pubs, following new legislation announced on 14 September that social gatherings of more than six people will be banned. 

The ‘rule of six’ has been imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19. CGA’s consumer pulse survey found that 59% of consumers who were intending to go out had canceled plans or would not be making new ones in the future. 

In addition, 15% of all consumers said they would alter their plans to observe the new regulations, while 10% intend to go ahead with their visits regardless.

The poll also highlighted a generational split in attitudes. Older consumers are much more likely than average to feel less confident about visiting pubs, bars, and restaurants in light of the updated restrictions, while younger adults are more likely to carry on with their plans. 

Hannah Payne, consumer research manager at CGA said: “This research really highlights the fragility of consumer confidence at the moment,”

“The new restrictions come just as restaurants and pubs were enjoying strong momentum from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, and they are a warning if it were needed that the road back to normality in the out-of-home sector is going to be very bumpy.”

She added: “Many consumers will now be canceling or changing their plans, and the restrictions increase the pressure on operators to show guests that they can eat and drink out safely. 

“Understanding their anxieties and demonstrating rigorous precautions without compromising the experience of going out for a meal or drinks will be absolutely crucial over the autumn.”

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