Photo of London by Chris Boland
Due to the cost-of-living crisis, many hospitality businesses have been experiencing quieter times in recent months, as consumers prioritise where to spend their income. However, with the King’s Coronation happening on 6th May, there are questions as to whether the public will continue this trend by choosing to celebrate this momentous occasion at home or whether they will celebrate by going out.
If we consider recent levels of demand and how pubs and restaurants are experiencing quieter periods, it’s looking likely that consumers will choose to stay in and celebrate the Coronation at home. Research from Barclays shows that restaurants saw a drop of 5.6% in spend in March, as people are wanting to eat at home to save money on food.
When it comes to the Coronation, the research shows that just 35% of the public are planning to spend their money on activities over the bank holiday weekend, with 11% planning to spend money on food and drink for hosting and only 8% planning to spend money on drinks at bars and pubs. With this in mind, the percentage of people who will be willing to spend money on the hospitality industry looks very low.
Instead, people may opt for street parties and picnic-style celebrations, allowing them to mark the occasion whilst still saving some pennies. Whilst this may seem like a loss for the hospitality industry, there are alternative avenues to still make profit and be inclusive to all customers – even those who wish to celebrate at home.
One example of this is the rise of the ‘grocerant’, where restaurants sell their ingredients, saving consumers money but still allowing them to enjoy the food. Perhaps we will see more chefs turning to this for the Coronation weekend?
Going out to enjoy the bank holiday
Despite all the evidence pointing towards people staying in, some are predicting that the royal bank holiday weekend will draw in record numbers of hospitality bookings.
If the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee last year is anything to go by, we can expect the Coronation to be a huge celebration. The celebrations saw plenty of people eating at restaurants and pubs all across the UK and, according to Barclaycard, the hospitality sector saw a spend increase of 41.4% over the bank holiday.
This year, for the Coronation, DesignMyNight estimates that the event will drive 480,000 bookings across the bank holiday for hospitality venues listed on the platform. With this in mind, hospitality venues that use the platform will certainly be preparing in advance for the wave of bookings that they could receive.
So, with the cost-of-living crisis and the contrasting excitement of the coronation, it certainly seems difficult to predict which way the celebrations will go. What do you think will happen? We’d love to hear from hospitality professionals on how you’re preparing for the big event!
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