Coronavirus: Spending in pubs to hit £210m during opening weekend

A JD Wetherspoon pub. Photo: PA

Spending in pubs is forecast to reach £210m ($259m) when premises open their doors this coming weekend.

Industry research suggests that 35% of adults will return to pubs within a week of lockdown restrictions being lifted.

But longer term business profitability is set to be down by more than 75%, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Research.

It predicts that some 6.5 million pub trips will be made on the reopening weekend, 1.5 million more than in ordinary circumstances. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: JD Wetherspoon confirms pubs will reopen on 4 July

Spending is also estimated to increase by 32%, the equivalent to 2.1 extra pints of lager or 1.9 extra glasses of wine.

But one metre social distancing rules and the ability to only provide table service may curtail pubs’ capacity, which is expected to be capped at around 70%. 

As a result, average profits for reopening pubs are predicted to be just 46% of pre-crisis levels.

There is also concern that capacity limit will prevent around 25% of pubs from reopening, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.

Safety measures in pubs will include no cutlery, sauces or condiments set out on tables, disposable menus, markers on the floor and bars to enforce social distancing, hand sanitisers and enhanced cleaning.

JD Wetherspoon (JDW.L) has confirmed it will be one of the pub chains reopening all its pubs on 4 July, in line with government guidance.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced last week (23 June) that pubs and other hospitality businesses could reopen from next month provided they follow new COVID-19 health and safety measures.

These include making sure all customers are at least one metre apart and taking risk mitigation measures such as erecting screens between customers and limiting contact between servers and visitors.