Rekom UK CEO Peter Marks has said he would rather “wait a little bit longer” for reopening, than dilute the nature of the business’ offer.

Known for its nationwide clubs and bar brands – including Pryzm, Atik and Cameo - Marks told MCA’s The Conversation that when its sites are allowed to reopen, it will be vital that they are able to deliver a similar consumer experience to that from before the pandemic.

“It’s important for us that we can open in something like the manner that we used to operate,” he said. “We don’t want to be opening with masks and mist, with no dancing and panels all over the place.”

Marks is hopeful that, should the Government’s vaccination roll-out remain on track, Rekom UK could start to reopen its sites by late Spring.

“I know that we’ve had a few dates thrown around, such as June or August, for all of the adult population to be vaccinated,” he said. “But to me, if we’ve got everybody over the age of 50 and the vulnerable sorted, then the chances of this disease being a problem are so infinitesimally small that we shouldn’t still be held with a gun to our head.

“We shouldn’t made to close by law and given no financial compensation any longer than we already have been.”

Aware that reopening could be more a matter of public opinion than the progress of the roll-out itself, he added that among Rekom’s core demographic of 18 to 25-year-olds “most of them just want to come back.”

“They feel that they’re young and they’re healthy, and if they get this it shouldn’t restrict their capacity to enjoy the first years of their social lives,” he said.

“We need to make sure that once we’ve got enough vaccinations done, or whatever public opinion sees as enough, that we come back and do what we’re best at.”

Revolution Bars CEO Rob Pitcher is slightly less optimistic, working on the assumption that bars may be permitted to reopen in April, but under tiered restrictions.

Pitcher has planned a “worst-case scenario” that the late-night experience could return to “normal” by September, but emphasised the need for a removal of restrictions as soon as possible.

“We can work with opening back into tiers, with seated service and substantial meals, but our business is not designed for that,” he said. “Our business is designed for people up dancing, drinking vodka and having a great night out – that’s what we need to get back to.

“With the ban on mixed household groups and the 10pm curfew we will still be running at a loss.”

Like Marks, Pitcher is confident in the public’s desire to return to late-night spaces. Whilst he said consumers have understood the need for restrictions, he expects them to “come back as hard and as fast as the Government will allow them to do.”

“We are confident that when we’re able to open, there will be demand for the product, and people will be itching to go for it,” he said. “People have been starved over the past nine months, so I think I think we’ll see a real resurgence in festivals, nightclubbing and going out.”