Spending after lockdown: Wiltshire diner spends £ 496 on bill



Wiltshire patrons were happy to foot the bill last week, the figures show, as restaurant spending increased when diners were allowed inside.

But the UKHospitality trade body said ending all social restrictions this summer is key to pulling the restaurant industry out of “life-saving” relief, as incomes are still well below pre-pandemic levels. .

Banking firm Revolut analyzed data from its 15,000 customers in Wiltshire in the seven days leading up to May 23, as they sat down in restaurants and cafes for the first time this year.

Diners spent 66% more during this period than the week before, when only al fresco dining was allowed, with a bill totaling £ 496.00.

However, spending was still 14% lower than a normal week in February of last year before the start of the pandemic.

Spending at restaurants and cafes across Britain fell more sharply, by 41%.

Despite the reopening, many establishments will not be able to sell out before June 21, when all legal limits on social contact should be lifted in England.

However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was too early to say whether the easing of all restrictions would continue as planned.

Kate Nicholls, Managing Director of UKHospitality, said: “The current restrictions drastically reduce the capacity of the sites, so the ability of restaurants to make money is limited well below pre-Covid levels.

“Many restaurants have been permanently lost due to the pandemic and there are others that, after months of closure and trade restrictions, have yet to reopen.

“A return to unrestricted commerce on June 21 is critical and means hotel businesses will go out of business and become viable for the first time in nearly 16 months, and allow businesses to bring in more staff. ”

The past week also saw the reopening of many indoor entertainment and culture venues, including museums, theaters and cinemas – though they too are operating at reduced capacity.

The UK Cinema Association said the opening weekend was the first to see more than a million admissions since March 2020.

Phil Clapp, managing director, said: ‘Only around three-quarters of UK cinema venues are now open, with many smaller venues unable to do so in a sustainable manner given the limits that social distancing requirements place on the market. available capacity.

“The extraordinary number of sold-out screenings reported over the past weekend makes it clear that the sooner these restrictions can be safely relaxed, the sooner a full recovery of the industry can occur.”

Revolut data shows spending on cultural activities such as going to the movies between May 17 and 23 was 68% lower than a normal week before the pandemic in Britain.

In Wiltshire, spending fell 52%, with women aged 35-44 being the region’s biggest spenders.

Overall, residents of Wiltshire spent 5% more on all activities during this period than they did the week before, including an 18% increase in transport spending.

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