Corporate bookings have returned with a bang as bosses are eager to spend two years’ worth of social budgets, the CEO of Swingers said.
The crazy golf chain has seen business come “roaring back” since Covid restrictions eased, co-founder Matt Grech-Smith told CityA.M.
Work bookings make up 45 per cent of Swinger’s trade, its chief said as the competitive socialising firm prepares for a New York venue opening next month and an extension of its West End site this spring.
Bookings have been driven by firms rescheduling bookings held in credit as well as firms who “clearly have lots of budget sitting there that they haven’t been able to use in the past two years,” he said.
“Now people work from home [more], we’re seeing a greater emphasis on team socialising because they aren’t getting together as they used to.
“We offer a solution where the focus is not just on the drinking, we provide an activity to focus on.”
“We obviously had a challenging pandemic where the rules changed and we opened and closed, but it was encouraging as when we got those moments where we could reopen, the demand was always there,” Grech-Smith said.
With its New York debut imminent, Grech-Smith said the company had not ruled out further sites in the UK.
“Each site turns over £9m a year, they’re quite big machines. We need a big corporate density, a big after work drinking culture. In London, you can immediately recognise that, with regional cities we are definitely keeping an eye on them,” he said.
London’s hospitality sector has been gradually recovering after two years of closures and subdued trade amid the pandemic, fresh data revealed this week.
The capital was ranked the eighth most ‘vibrant’ large city in the UK, moving up two places from last, in an analysis of March device log-in data by CGA and Wireless Social.
“Closures and the shortage of office workers, visitors and shoppers have taken a heavy toll on hospitality in London, so it’s good to see signs that much of the pre-pandemic vibrancy is returning,” CGA client director Chris Jeffrey said.