Indoor drinking and dining have resumed in the UK, at last. But has the British public breathed a huge sigh of relief and rushed back down to the pubs? Or are we still reserved in resuming to life as we knew it?
We at Singa are keen to know a little more about if people are out eating and drinking with friends (and enjoying karaoke parties of course), so we spoke to our friends at Hogarths Stafford to find out how reopening is going.
Consumer spending in hospitality took a big jump during reopening week
According to Barclaycard, spend in hospitality jumped 43% during the reopening week after restrictions were lifted in England, Scotland and Wales. In fact, early indications would say that the British public have been excited to get back into hospitality venues - probably driven even more so by the horrible rainy weather we have had this "spring". Hospitality spending is actually above pre-pandemic levels, up 8.6% on the same week in 2019.
Pubs and bars recorded the biggest surge in spending during reopening week, up 162% in transaction values compared with the previous week.
Wet led venues are still suffering from the remaining restrictions
"Wet led venues (traditional pub venues where no food is served) are still suffering the effects of the restrictions in place." Explains Steve Tinsley, Hogarths Stafford. "All tables are still 2 meters apart and are restricted in group sizes with no more than two households together. Everything is led by table service, there is no queuing at the bar. Loud singing and cheering along to your favourite football team is not allowed."
With these measures in place, venues like Hogarths are running at 25% capacity. In this case there is only space and seats for 100 people as opposed to the 400 capacity limit the venue is traditionally able to house. This of course means a drop in revenue. It is more difficult for wet led venues to secure table bookings and the spontaneity of enjoy an evening is removed. In fact, according to a customer research by Hogarths, 68% of customers prefer walk in's as opposed to booking a table in advance for a drink.
68% of customers prefer walk-ins as opposed to booking a table in advance for a drink.
These restrictions have meant that some consumers have become comfortable with socialising at home or in the garden, which has also driven the surge of Pub Sheds.
So, how do wet led venues forecast and drive revenues?
"Our karaoke room gives us a point of difference as a venue. Since reopening, we have continued our "Bubble-0ke" concept that we created at the end of lockdown 1.0, whereby the karaoke room is pre-booked for a maximum of 6 people from no more than 2 households. We have 3 booking slots per day, each for 3 hours at a time, and we take a £10 deposit per person which is redeemable on a bar tab. The prebook nature not only allows us to safely control the environment with cleaning in between each session, but it also allows us to forecast capacity and revenue."
"Karaoke rooms provide a source of entertainment that current restrictions don't allow"
"The karaoke room has brought something to our customers that they cannot get in the main area of the pub - somewhere they can freely and safely enjoy themselves without having to remain seated and not raise volume levels. The nature of the private room has brought people a source of entertainment that the current restrictions are now allowing for." Explains Steve.
"The karaoke rooms are a huge part of us driving social conversation. Customers love to capture and share their Singa karaoke experience on social media, which helps to raise the profile of the venue. We will continue the pre-booking of our karaoke room whilst under restrictions and beyond, and we are looking forward to welcoming more customers into the pub to enjoy the facilities as soon as we are able."
* The UK is awaiting an announcement of further easing of restrictions on or after the 21st June 2021.