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Thu 14th Jun 2018 - Flexible opening hours could give sector £6.75bn a year boost
Flexible opening hours could give sector £6.75bn a year boost: The hospitality sector could make a further £6.75bn a year by adapting opening hours to fit in with changing work patterns, according to new research. Barclays’ Open All Hours report revealed more than one-fifth (22%) of British workers want food, drink, hotel and gym businesses to change their opening hours. By responding to this demand, restaurants (£2.2bn per annum), takeaways (£2.1bn), and pubs, bars and clubs (£1.2bn) could benefit the most. Demand is being fuelled by almost six in ten (57%) British workers, who now work extended hours – part-time, flexibly or on shifts. Almost one-fifth (19%) of British workers expect 24-hour services across the hospitality and leisure sector. A quarter of workers would now like to go to a museum in the evening (between 6pm and 11pm), more than one in ten (13%) would choose to go to the cinema in the small hours (11pm to 5am), and almost one in five (19%) would choose to get a takeaway after closing time (11pm to 5am). The desire to order a takeaway at unusual hours is even higher among Generation Z (18 to 24-year-old) workers, with (37%) keen for delivery between 11pm and 5am. On average, Generation Z is the age group most frustrated that it cannot access hospitality services when it wants. One-third (33%) said they expect 24-hour services compared with one quarter of millennials (25 to 34-year-olds) and 19% of 35 to 44-year-olds. More than one-third (34%) of Generation Z explained the reason behind their demand for “out of hours” services were long working hours, compared with 30% of millennials and 20% of 45 to 54-year-olds. More than one-quarter (28%) said having the option of an easy-to-use booking platform would lead them to use hospitality services more often. Receiving smartphone notifications based on location also made 14% of customers more likely to choose a service. Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays, said: “Adapting to changing consumer demand presents a substantial opportunity for businesses. Our research has shown leisure operators could access a staggering £6.75bn per annum by accommodating their customers’ evolving needs, which have been brought on by changing working patterns. While that may be a challenge for some providers, understanding the value of the opportunity makes the prize more tangible.”

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