Hospitality sector footfall jumps by a third after indoor hospitality re-opens, data shows

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New research* has revealed that footfall and visits in the UK’s hospitality and restaurant sector went up by around a third (32%) in the week immediately following the re-opening of indoor hospitality on Monday 17 May. The data includes the first Saturday since restrictions were relaxed.

The North West region saw the largest jump in activity, rising by an average of 39%. However, Greater London came dead last, showing a rise of only 22%.

In the 15 towns and cities showing the greatest rises, the increase ranged between 44% and 56%, suggesting that indoor hospitality added half the number of customers again. The North West and Yorkshire dominated the list: while Slough topped the ranks with a 56% increase in visits, locations such as Harrogate, Bury, Wigan and Preston all showed increases of over 50%.

The research was carried out by Huq Industries, a mobility research business, using its Community Vision product, for use by local councils to support decision-making around the future of our cities, towns and high streets.

Huq’s extensive dataset of real-time population mobility data, comprised of 1bn+ mobile geo-location data-points daily, is used by retailers, investors and the public sector to measure footfall across a range of consumer, business and industrial settings.

The top 15 cities for increases in hospitality sector activity were:

  1. Slough                                              55.9%
  2. Harrogate                                       55.4%
  3. Bury                                                 54.4%
  4. Solihull                                            54.0%
  5. Preston                                            52.4%
  6. Wigan                                              51.4%
  7. St Albans                                         50.9%
  8. Newcastle upon Tyne                   49.8%
  9. Worcester                                       48.7%
  10. Scunthorpe                                     46.7%
  11. York                                                 45.5%
  12. Northampton                                 45.3%
  13. Oldham                                           45.1%
  14. Oxford                                             44.9%
  15. Rochdale                                         43.6%

The top ten regional* breakdown for increases in hospitality sector activity was:

  1. North West                                     39.1%
  2. Yorkshire and The Humber         35.4%
  3. East Midlands                                34.3%
  4. West Midlands                              32.9%
  5. South East                                       30.6%
  6. North East                                       29.8%
  7. South West                                     29.1%
  8. Wales                                              27.8%
  9. East of England                              22.7%
  10. London                                            22.1%

*agreed statistical UK regions

Conrad Poulson, chief executive officer at Huq Industries, comments: “The North of England has definitely led the way when it comes to people returning to hospitality venues, now that we can gather indoors once more.

“It’s interesting that London saw the smallest increase in people returning to indoor hospitality. This could be due to lingering nervousness, or the easy availability of home delivery options. It does suggest that restaurants, pubs/bars and hotels in London may have to work even harder to attract people back after the lockdown.”

* This output represents a unique daily count of Huq’s GB mobile panellists observed across hospitality-led locations during the three weeks prior to indoor reopening on May 17th, and the week elapsed since. The value provided is the percentage change between the observation periods, which are aggregated at the city and region levels. Sample size: 8,602 unique mobile panellists.