September 17, 2021

Hospitality sector set to reopen on a larger scale, but cautiously

Written by Kunal Sawhney, CEO Kalkine Group

With the relaxations provided by the government of the United Kingdom, the hospitality sector seems one of the major beneficiaries as the enterprises operating within the industry will be allowed to restart their respective operations after an extended stretch of 16 months.

There is a large section of businesses that have already been permitted to reopen, but the removal of social distancing guidelines and the upper limit on the number of large gatherings is likely to provide a substantial stimulus to the commerce.

The indoor, as well as outdoor settings that used to flourish with business at some point before the onset of pandemic are now desperately looking forward to a meaningful run on the commercial scale as minimised curbs on gatherings and social distancing will certainly allow them to accommodate more people.

Higher footfalls have a direct impact on the volume of sales. The healthcare authorities, the test and trace drive by the National Health Service (NHS), the genome sequencing conducted by the Public Health England (PHE), the expanding scale of immunisation programme and other preventive measures have collectively helped in facilitating a normal trading window for the enterprises after a long break of more than 16 months.

The renewal of cross-functional activities, including supply chains, logistics, delivery, transportation and uptick in volume of food and beverages at the venues, are likely to provide a boost for the hospitality sector, effectively contributing to the national economic growth.

With more than 700 enterprises operating within the industry, all the businesses are expected to remain on a continuous lookout for more and more customers in order to resurrect the ‘going concern’ factor as soon as possible. The people who have been entirely dependent on the functioning of the hospitality industry will finally get partially relieved with the massive restart of the sector.

The operators are seeking to capitalise on all the possible monetary opportunities that can regenerate a steady stream of cash flows. The UK hospitality industry employs more than 3.2 million individuals across the widespread geography of four nations combined, potentially representing nearly 10% of the total workforce of the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently reinstated to proceed with caution even with the Downing Street administration allowing the large-scale reopening, scrapping the social distancing guidelines to facilitate more consumers on the board.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve with the emergence of variants of concerns and a spiralling number of Delta variant cases, the Prime Minister has said that it is absolutely vital to proceed with caution now. “We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday 19 July to life as it was before Covid,” the PM said at the coronavirus press meet on 12 July.

The government has recommended wearing a face-covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, a move intended to avert any possible outbreak of cases in the country. At a time when the nation is about to witness mass gatherings at various hospitality venues, a positive impact will be there on the national economic growth. All the hospitality businesses account for approximately 6% of the business settings, contributing nearly 5% to the national GDP.

All the hospitality businesses will now be able to move towards profitability for the first time in the last 16 months, in an attempt to overcome the Covid-related debts, said Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality.