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Mon 29th Jun 2020 - Update: Pub spending this weekend, Deliveroo and Champneys
Spending in pubs this coming weekend forecast to be £210m: Spending in pubs is forecast to reach £210m when premises open their doors this coming weekend. Industry research suggests that 35% of adults will return to pubs within a week of lockdown restrictions being lifted. But longer term business profitability is set to be down by more than 75%, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Research. It predicts that some 6.5 million pub trips will be made on the reopening weekend, 1.5 million more than in ordinary circumstances. Spending is also estimated to increase by 32%, the equivalent to 2.1 extra pints of lager or 1.9 extra glasses of wine. But one metre social distancing rules and the ability to only provide table service may curtail pubs’ capacity, which is expected to be capped at around 70%. As a result, average profits for reopening pubs are predicted to be just 46% of pre-crisis levels. There is also concern that capacity limit will prevent around 25% of pubs from reopening, according to the British Beer and Pub Association. Safety measures in pubs will include no cutlery, sauces or condiments set out on tables, disposable menus, markers on the floor and bars to enforce social distancing, hand sanitisers and enhanced cleaning. Prime minister Boris Johnson announced last week (23 June) that pubs and other hospitality businesses could reopen from next month provided they follow new covid-19 health and safety measures. These include making sure all customers are at least one metre apart and taking risk mitigation measures such as erecting screens between customers and limiting contact between servers and visitors.

Sponsored message – Sprout CRM unveils contact tracing initiative to help venues re-open safely: Last week the government insisted that all hospitality venues need to track customers who are entering the venue, to keep customer contact records to facilitate track and trace in the case of a further outbreak. In response, Sprout CRM have developed a free Check In App which allows venues to easily capture customers’ details for contact tracing if required during covid-19. This same system is in use across Sprout’s extensive Australian customer base and is now being made available to UK venues, with both single or multi-sites, to support their reopening requirements. The initiative is based on current guidelines but can be changed upon new regulations as they emerge. The initiative features a simple QR code, scannable using any smartphone device, to direct customers to a secure webform to input their data, allowing venues to manage contactless check-ins at their venues for rapid contact tracing. All data collected by the Check In App is stored as per government guidelines. Data is only accessible by the Check In App account holder. UK & EMEA director Dhilon Solanki said: “During these trying and challenging times, we want to help – we are all in this together. It is vital both customers and staff feel safe when restaurants and bars open again, and we aim to give these venues peace of mind.” Venues can sign up for free at: https://sproutsend.com/covid-checkin/ If you have information you would like to feature in a sponsored message, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com

Deliveroo – covid-19 has accelerated consumer behaviour by up to three years, to launch ‘Table Service’: Deliveroo founder Will Shu has argued that the covid-19 crisis has advanced consumer behaviour. He told the BBC: “Even if restrictions are lifted soon, there’s going to be a long period of socially-distanced dining. Covid-19 really has marked a new era of delivery. Since we started Deliveroo, there’s been this incredible adoption towards online and apps. But I think covid-19 has brought forward this consumer behaviour by about one to three years. On the other hand, our restaurant partners are hurting.” Although restaurants will be allowed to reopen in England on 4 July with social distancing measures in place, Shu said that he believed that “there’s going to be an increased demand for delivery and collection”. Technology firms like Deliveroo “need to develop better tools for restaurants to operate safely and profitably”, he said. It comes as Deliveroo launches a new feature called ‘Table Service’. From 15 July UK users will be able to order food and pay through the Deliveroo app when they have a sit-in meal at participating restaurants, cafes or pubs. The firm says it’s aimed at making social distancing easier when eating out. “This is an important safety feature to give consumers confidence they can return to restaurants safely, and for restaurant staff, who will be able to work while minimising in-person contact,” Deliveroo said in a statement.

Spa boss pleads to be allowed to re-open: The boss of the Champneys Health Spa business has called on the government to allow spas, swimming pools and gyms to reopen as they provide significant health benefits. Stephen Purdew said his industry had been ‘unfairly ostracised’ by ministers during the pandemic, especially with pubs and restaurants reopening in days. Purdew said the covid-19 crisis had destroyed much of the hard work he has put in over 40 years. Lockdown has already cost Champneys £10 million and on average it is losing £1.5 million for every month it is shut. While Purdew is confident his business will survive thanks to support from the banks and government, he insisted his staff and suppliers will suffer if the spas cannot reopen. He is now urging the government to include spas and gym facilities in the easing of lockdown measures as he believes they are vital to public health. He said: ‘We want to get back to work, and there’s such a demand for what we do. People are chomping at the bit to come to our spas. We are fighting a disease that has primarily attacked people with obesity, and we’ve got gyms and spas with weight loss programmes closed.’ Champneys has had to furlough 1,200 staff and make a further 260 redundant. While Purdew is confident his business will survive thanks to support from the banks and government, he insisted his staff and suppliers will suffer if the spas cannot reopen. He had hoped to reopen at the start of August but ministers have not provided details of how to do so safely, meaning a September date now looks more likely. He said: “40 years of me working has been completely destroyed by this virus in four months. All the striving to get standards and connect with staff and get team morale, everything we do, the heritage has been completely smashed into.”

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