The national lockdown at the beginning of the year continued to challenge the operation of bars/pubs in 2021. Independent pubs witnessed an even stronger decline in the number of outlets than in 2020, which was due to pandemic-related financial support from the government ending.
The lack of footfall significantly hit the operation of foodservice outlets located in city centres, with operators of cafés/bars shifting their focus to the suburbs and regional areas. As the hybrid working model is likely to remain relevant in the UK, businesses need to be prepared for an increasing proportion of their sales coming from such outlets.
The pandemic resulted in a significant change in consumer lifestyles. Home seclusion during national lockdowns and the increased time spent at home relative to pre-pandemic encouraged foodservice businesses to focus on bringing their products and experiences to consumers.
The economic repercussions of the pandemic will continue to be felt in the realms of consumer spending and confidence heading into the forecast period. Local consumers are becoming increasingly budget-savvy, which is likely to influence not only the channel’s recovery, but also the performance of players.
Collaboration is considered to be one of the key strategies contributing to the recovery of cafés/bars post-pandemic. The review period witnessed various examples of foodservice players joining forces with retail to generate sales in the uncertain environment.
The application of in-store technologies grew significantly during the pandemic amongst cafés/bars. Although not traditionally the case, technology became a central element of operations in order to ensure consumer safety and also to improve the customer experience when ordering.
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This category encompasses all establishments where the focus is on drinking (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages). While a wide variety of snacks and full meals are offered, it is not uncommon for consumers to only order a drink. As a general rule, establishments deriving 50% of their income or more from the sale of drinks are included here.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Cafés/Bars research and analysis database.
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