Restaurants less confident about hospo’s future: survey

Concerns with the nationwide vaccine rollout remain as restaurants face a “bumpy” recovery.

Restaurants are becoming less confident about the future of the hospitality sector, Deliveroo’s latest HospoVitality Index Report revealed, amidst various lockdowns being implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Restaurant sector confidence declined from a +42 score in January 2021 to +25 at present, with 46% or less than half of restaurants feeling positive about the future of the hospitality sector in Australia, down from 59% at the start of the year. 

A fifth of restaurants (21%) feel negative about the future of the sector (21%) but 57% say they are positive about their prospects a year from now.

58% say they feel “some level of concern” about delays in the national vaccination rollout may impact their business and 53% say they are to some degree concerned by “the idea of serving unvaccinated customers.”

Virtually six in ten restaurants (59%) say the availability of staff is the greatest challenge they face, 20-point rise, since the start of the year.

The survey, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Deliveroo, also saw 61% of restaurants and 71% of takeaway businesses saying that food delivery will “play an even larger part of their business” after COVID-19.

Restaurant owners added they would like government support in the relaxation of border restrictions for skilled foreign workers (51%), support for businesses to offer training and apprenticeships (49%) and greater incentives for young people to undertake skills training (37%). 

The survey was conducted prior to the current lockdowns in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne and had more than 500 restaurant owners across Australia as respondents.

“This year has been a rollercoaster for the hospitality industry and a clear reminder that the pandemic and its repercussions are far from over. Central to the sector’s recovery is the success of Australia’s  vaccine rollout if we are to continue to avoid snap lock downs and to eventually open up Australia’s borders,” Deliveroo Australia CEO Ed McManus said in a statement.

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