The government’s roadmap to post-Covid times is well underway, with the rule of six set to return later this month and schools already open. With outdoor facilities set to open in mid-April and indoor facilities to open in May, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for the hospitality sector.
Although competitive socialising venues are still closed due to regulations, the industry is seeing positive trends as it prepares to reopen. As a result, the hospitality and the competitive socialising sector are preparing for the new post-lockdown landscape. It’s increasingly likely that venues that can adjust to new Covid-19 safely regulations will be in a strong position. As a result, they’ll be able to provide sorely missed safe socialising fun once lockdown restrictions are lifted in April and May.
One promising sign of this shift would be from industry leader Hollywood Bowl, one of the largest bowling operators in the country. The company, like all within the sector, has had to close all of its 64 well-located centres. However, from November onwards the company’s stock has been climbing and has now reached 218 (rising 7.5% in the last month alone).
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has dedicated over £1.5 million to making their venues as safe as possible. This includes Perspex screens to create safe spaces for each lane, as well as in-depth staff training. This has put them in an excellent position to deal with new social distancing measures.
Sites have been closed for most of last year, which has affected revenue. However, with the shift to a staged relaxing of restrictions, the company is in a very strong position for the near future.
Due to their investments in safety and Covid management they should be able to operate almost immediately after restrictions are lifted. That combined with the consumers’ desire for safe family fun (something sorely lacking in the last few months), puts Hollywood Bowl as a top choice for post-lockdown families.
Finally, with their standing as the U.K’s biggest bowling operator, expansion is a likely opportunity due to reduced rates post-Covid for securing new locations.
The future is looking bright for not just Hollywood Bowl, but the competitive socialising sector as a whole. This is due to a greater ability to implement social distancing and safe socialising. As a result, they can better cater and adapt to the new landscape of socialising and hospitality we’ll see in the months to come.