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On-Trade Reopening in the UK – July 2020

Image: Cafe & Konditorei Rothe

With the On-Trade (hospitality industry) being allowed to re-open from 4 July, the problems that social distancing rules pose are being tackled in a variety of innovative ways.  To help restaurants maintain social distancing a contactless tableside ordering service has been developed by three British entrepreneurs.  ‘Creventa’ enables customers to view menus, order and pay at their tables with their phones.  The absence of printed menus and card machines helps to minimise cross-contamination.  Alan Lorrimer, founder of London venue The Piano Works and supporter of the UK Grand Outdoor Summer Café campaign, has called on the government to allow hospitality operators to use open spaces and squares outside their venues for food and drink service.  Around the world there have been many other unusual social distancing techniques pioneered.  These include wearing ‘swimming woggle hats’, dining under individual Perspex lamp shades and using mannequins and teddy bears to occupy particular seats! Unusual ways to enjoy your vintage brandies!

On Trade Business is Looking Up

The Budget also gives a boost

Like-for-like sales in the On Trade sector grew by 1.6% in February, according to figures produced by the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.  This result marks the 23rd consecutive month of positive growth and illustrates the public’s continuing desire to go out to eat and drink.  Such consistent growth indicates that public confidence in the UK economy is improving at a steady rate.  This boost to the On Trade sector may well accelerate throughout the remainder of 2015 following the government’s recent Budget.  Duty on spirits was cut by 2%, a move which followed hard on the heels of the abolishment of the Alcohol Duty Escalator in 2014.  Described as a “momentous result” by WTSA campaigners, this recognition of market need by the government is extremely good news for the industry and Hermitage Cognacs which are sold in many of the world’s top hotels and restaurants.