Friday 10 July 2020 2:07 pm

Most Brits still 'uncomfortable' dining out in restaurants

Most Brits are still uncomfortable with sitting indoors at a restaurant due to fears over the spread of coronavirus, according to a new survey.

Alongside pubs and bars, restaurants were allowed to reopen on 4 July after months in lockdown. 

Read more: Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group says some sites will remain closed until 2021

But the latest survey by the Office for National Statistics found that six in 10 UK adults would be uncomfortable or very uncomfortable to eat indoors at a restaurant. 

Just 21 per cent of respondents said they would be comfortable to eat indoors. 

Women were most nervous about dining out, with 63 per cent saying they would be uncomfortable sitting in a restaurant compared to 57 per cent of men. Over 70s were also less likely to go out for a meal inside a restaurant. 

However, Brits were more at ease with the prospect of dining outdoors, with 37 per cent saying they would be comfortable with eating al fresco.

In total, 39 per cent said they would be uncomfortable with dining outdoors.

On Wednesday the chancellor announced a discount scheme to encourage consumers back into restaurants. 

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme will offer a 50 per cent discount up to £10 per head at participating venues throughout August. 

Managed pub, bar and restaurant suffered a 44.5 per cent slump in like-for-like trading during their opening window compared with the corresponding weekend last year. 

Read more: Burger King boss warns over UK restaurant closures and job losses

The Coffer Peach Business Tracker said that just 12 per cent of English restaurants reopened at the weekend compared to 42 per cent of pubs and bars.

“It is going to take time for the trade to return but this provides a foundation on which to build consumer confidence and adapt and improve operations,” Karl Chessell, director of business consultancy CGA, said. 

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