With less than a month to go before pubs reopen pub owners have said that venues have been flooded with forward bookings.
The Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown has begun as bars, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen outside areas from 12 April, and possibly inside by 17 May.
Clive Watson, founder and Chairman of the City Pub Group said, “Its gone gangbusters, people are desperate to catch up with their friends.
“If we only had baked beans on the menu they would still book. We’ve got really good bookings, particularly for outdoor seating, but also for indoors from 17 May, and lots of inquiries about bigger bookings from June.”
But he urged caution to the hospitality sector and said there is a long road to recover.
He added, “Let’s not pretend we are off to the races yet.
“There are still a lot of people who are cautious about booking, and we’ve definitely seen particularly caution with things like weddings and events where deposits are needed.
“A lot of people can’t wait to come back but we still have a lot of uncertainty to deal with.”
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade group UKHospitality said, “Feedback from our members is that bookings are very strong for the first few weeks of outdoor reopening in April.
“It is unsurprising, after the dreadful year we have had, that people are eager to socialise with friends and family again.
“Venues will implement their own methods to tackle no-shows and, for some, that might include a form of deposit, no-shows are a nuisance at the best of times but, with businesses still so fragile, their impacts would be hugely compounded.”