As lockdowns across the world are slowly easing up, businesses are gearing up to open with proper social distancing guidelines in place. However based on a survey from the Night Time Industries Association, clubs, bars and music venues in the UK think social distancing is “financially unviable” for their business.
The survey included 130 UK businesses and centered around two core topics. These include problems nightlife businesses faced during the lockdown and concerns of reopening under current social distancing measures.
Following lockdown measures being eased, nightlife and hospitality businesses are expected to operate with limited capacity. How will this contribute to the overall performance of the business? In the overview of the survey, businesses stated they will only be able to operate at 40-43% capacity. Additional survey insights state the only 55% of the workforce will return therefore leaving a huge hole in the industry.
Making reopening more of a struggle is the reopening cost. The average cost to reopen a business within this sector is £31,131. For nightclubs, the cost is calculated to be double the cost at £61,545.
Only half of the responders stated cashflow as the economic benefit of reopening. Employment followed second, and rent/bills trailed in at third.
Key quotes from responders included, “Social distancing is incompatible with businesses selling social interaction. You do not go to a bar to get drunk. You go to a bar to socially interact with people. Asking hospitality businesses to practice social distancing is a bit like trying to sell someone a car they cannot drive.”
In the survey overview, Business Owners and Operators are concerned that the Social Distancing will reduce venue capacity, where it will become financially unviable.
“They need to realize we cannot open partially whilst still paying all our bills, i.e. electricity for 10 people the same as 100. The atmosphere in pubs will be damaged and will do more harm than good”
Many feel that once it is safe to release the lockdown the Government needs to ensure that they reverse the narrative in terms of the nightlife sector being “Safe & Open”. Most businesses believe they will be able to re-engage within 3 weeks (22.9 Days)
Read the full results of the survey here.
The Nighttime Industries Association is currently running a campaign called “The Big Freeze”. #TheBigFreeze aims to have the UK government freeze loans/mortgages and allow landlords the financial freedom to give rent-free periods during the Covid-19 crisis.
H/T: DJ Magazine