Many hotel, restaurant and pub firms are “optimistic” about the future despite the pressures of the Covid-19 crisis, with most expecting trading to bounce back by the end of the year, a survey showed.
Hotel businesses had the most positive outlook, with 83 per cent of the operators surveyed saying they were confident about future prospects.
Restaurants followed, with 53 per cent saying they were optimistic.
Pubs were the most pessimistic of the businesses surveyed, as 59 per cent said they were uncertain or lacking in confidence for their prospects looking forward.
However, the survey of 141 sector businesses by accountancy firm Haysmacintyre found that 69 per cent believe that trading levels will return to normal either by the end of this year or the first half of 2022.
The research also showed that three quarters of respondents who began offering delivery and takeaways during the pandemic are planning to continue providing those services.
In total, 78 per cent of firms that switched to online sales, including DIY meal kits, during lockdown will continue to offer these.
Meanwhile, pubs and bars made the biggest shift towards new technologies, with almost half of those surveyed saying they implemented ordering and payment apps due to social distancing measures.
The queue at the bar could be a thing of the past, as 95 per cent of those who installed new technology during the pandemic are planning to continue accepting online orders and payments.
Gareth Ogden, partner in the hospitality team at Haysmacintyre, said: “The hospitality industry has undeniably been hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis. However, despite the challenges, this Survey reveals that many in the sector remain positive.
“Even before the Prime Minister’s roadmap to recovery was announced, there were operators looking to the future with optimism, confident that trading will return to normal levels within the next year.”
“One of the industry’s greatest strengths has always been its resilience. Now you can add adaptability and ingenuity to that list of strengths.
“Combined with the announcement in the Budget of extensions to various support measures for the sector, a new recovery loans scheme and hospitality grants, the hope is that this innovation will aid the sector’s transition back to normal trading operations.”