- Nothing is quite as sad for a food writer as a closed restaurant.

A tenth of restaurants are gone due to COVID

The ongoing impacts of the pandemic have taken another toll on our weakened dining scene.

20h ago

The other day I wrote about how the COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way we dine out. But it turns out, there's a second aspect to this. We just aren't dining out. Or if we choose to, there's 10% less choice than there has been prior.

Today in the UK, we've seen restrictions lifted further as we inch towards some level of normality, included in these new freedoms is the opening of restaurants for indoor dining. However, this might be too little too late for a fair few establishments, with 9.7% of restaurants having closed entirely.

A saddening sign.

A saddening sign.

In data courtesy of the latest Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners suggests that while many pubs and bars have also struggled to survive the pandemic, it is restaurants that have fared worst with some 4,204 sites closed in April 2021 compared to 2020.

Bars and drinks driven locations haven't suffered as badly, with only 5.6% of locations closing up, a total of 3,446 locations. Across the board, it has been a rough time, however, there is hope on the horizon. To save the British pub industry, it's estimated that all 52 million Brits would need to hit the boozers hard and spend £382 in a local this year to balance the beleaguered books.

It's just sad to see.

It's just sad to see.

And while this all seems promising, you have to view this through the window of the current regulations. Social distancing is still in place, so tables have to be laid out accordingly, which isn't too much of an issue for larger restaurants with the floor space to cater to this, but busier, smaller establishments risk being hit harder by this. A strong assumption is that locations need to see 60-75% capacity to make a profit, tricky when you can't pack 'em in like you used to. Tourism is also a key part of the income for our restaurant industry and with limits on travel still in place, it could be some time until tourists a taking up tables in our trattorias. Although the flip of this is the growing emphasis on holidaying in the UK. This summer with our limited traffic light system of holiday locations beyond our borders; more people than ever could be vacationing in our green and pleasant land, and hopefully putting pennies in the tills of restaurants.

Again, it isn't positive news, but there is still hope on the horizon. Now, I'm off to go and rack up a big ole bar tab. I've got an industry to save.

It is still odd to look at.

It is still odd to look at.

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Comments (1)

  • Don't need research for that, just take a stroll down what used to be busy local dining/shopping strip. It's sad. Very, very sad!

      8 hours ago