More than half of consumers ‘can’t wait to go out again’ according to CGA’s 2021 Hospitality Consumer Forecast, with 80% hoping to visit a hospitality venue within a few weeks of them reopening.

While three quarters (77%) of consumers are worried that life won’t return to normal in 2021, they are keen to return to eating and drinking out when the hospitality sector reopens, said CGA.

The figures are broadly in line with those ahead of the reopening of hospitality after the first national lockdown in July 2020, it said.

The research found that restaurants and cafes are likely to receive many returning customers early on, with nearly a third (32% and 31% respectively) planning to visit these kinds of businesses in the weeks after reopening, compared with pubs and fast-food venues (25%).

While 73% of late-night and nightclub users says they would now feel confident visiting these venues when they are allowed to – up 23 percentage points since June 2020.

“Consumers have sorely missed going out to eat and drink, and these numbers show the enduring appeal of restaurants, pubs and bars,” says Florence Brun, CGA consumer research executive.

“People are going to have to wait a while yet, and some will need reassuring, but when venues are able to open their doors we can look forward to a steady as well as safe return of guests.”

According to CGA, the forecast suggested that the post-lockdown market will be somewhat polarised between those spending carefully and freely, with similar numbers indicating they will be controlling their spending and treating themselves.