84% Of Restaurants Believe The Government Should Be Doing More To Support Their Business

84 percent of restaurant owners and managers believe that the UK government should be doing more to help independent restaurants as 79 percent fear a second lockdown will negatively impact their business. That’s according to the latest research released by delivery platform Foodhub.

Despite new measures put in place in the Chancellor’s Winter Spending plan, 64 percent said this is not enough to support their business; with half of restaurants saying they would like another “eat out to help out” scheme. An additional 48 percent would prefer longer furlough, 41 percent would like further rates relief and four in ten want assistance with rent.

Surveying restaurant owners and managers across the UK, Foodhub has uncovered the industry’s sentiment towards the current climate, its optimism for growth and key challenges expected within the new 12 months. Amongst its findings, the research revealed that 54 percent of operators are concerned about the next twelve months with 81 percent believing that Covid-19 is the biggest barrier to growth for the next year. When asked what other challenges restaurants would face within the next 12 months, 41 percent believe that a recession will harm trade, 26 percent believe restricted customer spending and 16 percent of operators are worried about mounting costs.

While the restaurant and takeaway industry is set to face ongoing challenges within the next year, over two thirds (72 percent) say they have seen a significant upturn in online orders. Additionally, 52 percent of respondents said their main goal was growth over the next year; with 42 percent aiming to become more sustainable. What’s more, 41 percent say they would like the ability to offer discounts to improve spending while 34 percent are going to explore ways that technology can enable them to future-proof their businesses.

Commenting on the research, Philip Mostyn, Chief Operating Officer of Foodhub said: “This year has been a challenging year for all sectors. The hospitality industry in particular has suffered a drastic blow since the first lockdown in March when many were forced to close down all operations. With new restrictions in place, these businesses are now being told that their hours will be reduced and undoubtedly sentiments across the sector are of uncertainty and anxiety on what this will mean for the future of hospitality.”

Mostyn continues: “Our research has highlighted the concerns many within the market will undoubtedly have. However, it also found that the industry is remaining resilient and optimistic towards their growth. Providing delivery and takeaway options will be a way for these restaurants to continue serving their customers under restricted hours. For restaurants that didn’t implement a delivery or takeout service during the first lockdown, undoubtedly noticed a hit to their profit line. With restrictions to operating hours potentially lasting for another 6 months, now is the time for these restaurants to look to offer delivery or takeout options in order to future proof their businesses during these times.”

“With the Government’s new three tier restrictions in place, some of the worst hit regions are going to feel the strain of a second lockdown. This could potentially have a severe impact on restaurants and takeaways within these areas. In order to remain operational, these businesses need to have a contingency plan in place and begin thinking of ways to future proof their businesses while serving their communities,” Mostyn concludes.

When asked if they provide a delivery or takeaway option, 88 percent of restaurants already offer some kind of takeaway service. Another 10 percent are investigating the options with many stating they wanted to better serve their customers (42 percent) and improve revenue streams (30 percent).  Yet, 27 percent say that the biggest challenge around offering delivery is a lack of drivers (27 percent) and mounting costs (21 percent).