COVID-19 and the hospitality industry

Megan Lipscombe

Megan Lipscombe

Marketing Lead

With the spread of Coronavirus in the UK, events are being cancelled, travel is being restricted and more and more of the population are taking to self-isolation; resulting in a reduction in footfall to bars, pubs and restaurants. 

None of us really know exactly what’s to come over the next few weeks; but what we do know is that in just one week we’ve seen sales drop by an average of 16%. Unfortunately it’s likely to stay this way, or drop even further in the coming weeks. It’s important you prepare for the quieter weeks ahead by building your rotas appropriately to meet the change in demand. 

Factors that could affect footfall

There are a number of things that could have a direct impact on how busy you are. For example, if you run a pub and your busiest times are during sporting events, keep an eye on the cancellations being made here. We’ve already seen the Premier League be postponed until 4th April, the Euros cancelled and it’s likely there’ll be more to come. 

If you’re based in the heart of a city surrounded by offices, consider that you may be quieter due to office closures. And if you have sites at event venues, you need to be aware of those being cancelled. You can find the latest here.

Tourism is also being affected with many countries on lock down and flights being cancelled. This could positively or negatively affect businesses in the UK, depending on the decisions made in the next few weeks. Whilst there won’t be footfall from tourists, those unable to leave the UK may spend more on eating and drinking out locally, where possible.

If you’re a Rotaready client, don’t just use the rota templates you use for an average week. Consider everything that could affect footfall to your business and try to schedule appropriately. If you have any questions about the approach you should be taking, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your account manager. We’ll be here to help you as usual. 

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