By tom tanner

Last week we surveyed the sector to help inform our submission to the Westminster All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism’s ‘Pathways to Recovery’ inquiry which is looking at what measures the sector needs to successfully reopen, recover and thrive in the aftermath of the COVID19 crisis.

The key focus of this inquiry will be assessing what is needed to get businesses back on their feet at the appropriate time, providing forward-looking recommendations to guide Government and businesses as they move to thinking about recovery.

We asked a range of questions to establish general confidence levels through to specific questions relating to the likely impact of social distancing measures and views on the government response to and success in accessing loans and other support.

With some level of disruption to trade and revenue likely for the industry for up to two years, flexible support from government is more crucial than ever. The survey responses informed our submission which included two main asks:

  1. A protocol that allows F&B to reopen that recognises the impracticability of 100% compliance with 2m physical distancing for the sector
  2. Incentives for businesses to transition to sustainable supply chains

We’ll be building on these asks in the coming weeks and will share them.

Here are some of the key findings which helped shape the submission to the APPG:

While 83% said it would be possible to implement physical distancing measures, 67% of businesses said they would not survive if they opened under physical distancing measures.

Just under half of those asked (47%) have applied for the CBIL, with only 9% succeeding in their application.

When it came to rent, 47% of respondents have asked their landlords to suspend or defer rent and are still waiting for a response while 12% have asked and been rejected.

69% of businesses felt confident in their business’s survival if lockdown is lifted at the end of June, however, if lockdown continues until August, that figure is turned on its head with 69% saying they are not confident their business will survive.

The overwhelming majority of businesses (88%) said they would favour a reduction in VAT to 5% for the hospitality sector, which supports the finding that 58% think the sector is not receiving enough support from the Government.

Check out the full findings of the survey in graphic form here.