Some 64% of operators would rather shut down for a ‘circuit-breaker’ now if it meant they could open as usual over Christmas, according to the latest Hospitality Leaders Poll carried out by Lumina Intelligence for MCA, the MA, Big H and Restaurant.

However, even those that would prefer that option said it wouldn’t be possible without government support, while others said there was no guarantee it would be effective and Christmas trading may be impacted anyway.

“It is unlikely to be temporary,” said one operator. “The last lockdown had to last months to have the desired effect, what is the case for a two-week circuit-breaker being a miracle solution?”

Meanwhile, the number of businesses who could successfully ‘pivot’ into becoming a food-led operation in order to beat the new curtailments on trade is low, with 56% saying it wouldn’t be possible or wasn’t worth it from a financial point of view. Just 24% said they had already set plans in motion in order to do so, with another 20% saying they were looking at the situation and ‘potentially’ achieve it.

As for the weekly tracker question, which asks about how confident operators feel in the future of their business, 48% expressed a level of confidence, the same as last week. That means confidence remains down from 50% a fortnight ago, which was down from 58% the week before that, and down from 67% the week before that.

The poll spoke to 262 board level operators running pubs, restaurants and food to go operations.