Most operators (47%) are interpreting the new tier restrictions very strictly and to the letter of the law, though a sizeable minority (28%) are taking a more relaxed approach and leaving it up to customer discretion, the Lumina Intelligence Hospitality Leaders Poll reveals.

The findings come as vast swathes of the country enter tier 2, which bans different households meeting in the pub, means alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal, and curtails consumers ordering more drinks after they have finished eating.

The poll suggests just under a third will take a more relaxed approach to these rules in order to keep operating.

Meanwhile, confusion continued about the definition of a “substantial meal”, with 44% saying they were unsure what it constitutes, following conflicting messages from government ministers.

The poll found 67% said they expect to be in a tier 3 style lockdown in January

Just 8% are confident of a return to normality in Spring despite the announcement of a vaccine

The percentage of hospitality operators asked who are ‘not confident’ in the future of their business improved marginally from 54% to 49% week over week.