Since COVID-19 restrictions were dropped in most European markets, we’re seeing the start of the long road to recovery. 2022 looks like the year of the hospitality industry rebound post-pandemic with events making a full comeback and pubs and bars have no longer been hampered by forced lockdowns and trading restrictions, it certainly feels like we’re back on the road to normality.
Says Play SHUFL. brand ambassador, Joey Bartram, “Our diaries are filling up again, with launch events at partner venues and beer festivals booked in. It’s certainly great to be back and people seem increasingly relaxed, not having to wear masks and getting used to being out and about again.”
The dropping of the work from home guidance also marked a watershed moment for the UK back in January this year meaning that as well as going back to the office, hybrid workers could look to work from the pub and take advantage of a change of scene helping to boost footfall in pubs. Many Christmas work parties were also re-booked for 2022 following an uncertain December 2021.
Cautious optimism for UK Market
It’s no secret that the industry was hit hard in 2020 and 2021. Figures from the industry analysts AlixPartners, released in January 2022 showed a net loss of 8,228 hospitality venues, a 7% decline, during 2021.
Despite all of the ongoing challenges such as rapidly rising food and energy costs, staff shortages and supply problems, there are also signs of a full recovery.
According to recent data released in April from Lumina Intelligence Operator data, the bulk of the market recovery for the UK where restrictions have all but disappeared, is expected to come this year with the value expected to reach up to 99% of 2019 market values.
Experiential-led venues will lead the way
This growth will be led by managed, branded and franchised segments of the market and events such as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the FIFA World Cup will help boost this. Experiential-led venues will also lead the recovery catering for the experiential hungry consumers who are looking to have a good time based around activities and experiences.
Says Play SHUFL. UK Country Manager, Ben Minter, “It’s encouraging for our partners that experiential-led venues are going to be leading the charge. It shows that catering for the experience-hungry consumer with a competitive socialising offer and being one step ahead of market trends pays off.”
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