Almost half of hospitality operators expect to have more than 80% of their estate open by September this year, the latest insight from CGA has revealed.

Having requested responses from 400 operators tuning in to its ‘resetting the course to recovery’ webinar, CGA found that 49% expect to have over 80% of their sites open by September, with a further 20% expecting to open between 61% and 80% by that time.

Of these, 40% of operators said they predict that some of their sites will not reopen, but 60% predict an eventual estate-wide reopening.

In considering the best approach to reopening, almost a third (31%) said they would open most sites as soon as they were permitted to do so, but would initiate a phased reopening for the rest of the estate, whilst 24% said they plan to open all sites as soon as it is permitted.

Some operators said they would choose to adopt a more cautious strategy, with 22% planning to open a minority of sites initially, before opening the rest in phases.

With the current uncertainty and ever-changing environment, 11% said they would delay reopening until conditions improve, and 13% said they’re not yet sure what their reopening plans will look like.

“We are likely to see a cautious return to the sector, we’re likely to see footfall down and we’re likely to see sales down,” said Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director for food and retail. “There are going to be ongoing challenges even though it’s very exciting that we have an open date to work to.”

“Lots of operators are looking at new ways of working and have been really transparent about that, and that consumer communication will be very important.”