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Sixty five percent of operators will need a huge chunk of their rent reduced or covered by the government in order to reopen before the end of the year, according to the latest weekly Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA Insight/HIM.

Asked ‘What would be the minimum amount of rent reduction/support you could operate with over the next six months?’, 35% said they would need between 41-60% to be covered or reduced. Another 18% said they would need between 61-80% and 15% said they would need between 81-100%.

However, 21% said they would need no assistance or reduction in order to reopen.

The situation is equally dire when it comes to the threat of redundancies when they JRS starts to require employers to make a contribution, with 41% saying they would need to make between 21%-50% of their staff redundant and 25% saying they would need to make let over half their staff go.

However, reflecting the uncertainty in the industry, the largest response came from 33% who said it was difficult to tell at this moment in time.

Meanwhile, with operators pushing an increasingly premium offer before lockdown, what do they think post-coronavirus consumers will be looking for in the future? Almost half (47%) expect to find a thriftier customer looking for a value-led proposition.

Thirty one percent think things will stay the same as before, but only 22% think consumers will be looking for a premium offer, a sharp downturn on the thinking before the coronavirus struck.

The poll spoke to 463 founders or board level operators across restaurants, pubs and food to go.