Two thirds of foodservice wholesaler customers believe they will not survive another three months in the current lockdown measures without more government support, research from KAM Media shows.
The study surveyed 211 businesses – ranging from pubs and bars to restaurants, cafes and street food venues – with the vast majority stating that a significant break from rent obligations was required in order to survive.
Research also showed that a long recovery time will be needed for the sector once the lockdown ends, with 86% of the businesses saying they thought consumers would eat out less and 82% expecting consumers to drink out less.
Furthermore, 83% of those questioned expect customer numbers to be down for at least six months after re-opening; 38% said they would expect it to take at least a year for their footfall to return to pre-lockdown levels.
Katy Moses, managing director at KAM Media explained that many hospitality businesses are at risk and need help in navigating a pathway to safety. “We need some fundamental interventions on rents and property, and on finance and loans, and it’s becoming clear that much of hospitality will require a much longer extension of the furlough scheme, given that businesses will not emerge fully from lockdown for some time.”
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“As an industry, we need to get behind campaigns such as #NationalTimeOut, spearheaded by Jonathan Downey and Hospitality Union, who are campaigning for a nine-month rent holiday, to be supported by the government,” she said.
Moses recently conducted an interview with James Bielby, chief executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) in which they discussed the Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented impact on the UK hospitality and convenience retail industries.