Less than a third of Brits plan to watch the Euro 2020 football tournament in a pub over the coming weeks despite the easing of restrictions, according to a new survey.
Boozers are gearing up for a major boost to business as fans flock to their local for the delayed footie extravaganza.
Yet pubs may have fewer punters than they hope for, as figures suggest just 29 per cent of people will head out for matches.
The lacklustre numbers suggest Brits may still be cautious about returning to the pub even after reopening.
Watering holes could be facing a further challenge amid reports the government could push back the final stage of lockdown easing, originally scheduled for 21 June, by as much as four weeks.
Patrick Dardis, chief executive of pub giant Young’s, said sector confidence will be sapped further if the government delays the current road map out of lockdown restrictions and there is “no reason” for such delays.
It comes after damning new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed that fewer than a quarter of pub owners say they are “highly confident” they will survive the next three months.
However, landlords will be hoping that punters will splash out more during the games. According to the survey, conducted by market research platform Appinio, 7 in 10 Brits said they will have a tipple during matches and almost a third admitted they will drink more alcohol throughout the game.
While beer remains the most popular beverage for most men, the data shows a significant decline in younger people opting to drink alcohol. Less than 40 per cent plan to drink beer and one in five say they will opt for non-alcoholic options.
Overall, though, interest in the highly-anticipated Euros tournament remains high, with every single person surveyed saying they planned to watch at least one game.
“The research on fan behaviours and attitudes towards this Euro campaign proved really interesting,” said Jacqueline Junke, market lead UK at Appinio.
“We were certainly not expecting to see a 100 per cent score on people planning to watch the games which could indicate a want for a feeling of national togetherness and pride after such a turbulent and fragmented year.
“It wasn’t too surprising though to see the number of people happy to watch at home and shunning the pub — we understand this to be less about safety and likely to be more that people have become far more comfortable socialising and watching sport at home because they’ve had no other choice.”