Eating Out


Almost a quarter of UK adults won’t return to their favourite eateries until Coronavirus is defeated, new research suggests.

Seven out of 10 UK adults would avoid visiting eateries if their first impression didn’t make them feel safe, according to a new study.

In research commissioned by a specialist hygiene service provider, 67% of UK adults say they are more afraid of germs and conscious of hygiene now, than before the Coronavirus pandemic and more than seven in 10 (73%) are now washing their hands more frequently than before.

The study suggests that the public is demanding more visible hygiene solutions at cafes, bars and restaurants since the outbreak. Almost half (46%) of respondents want to see readily-available hand sanitiser before they would consider revisiting post-lockdown, while 43% of people would like clear and visible signs of washroom cleaning.

The survey also found that almost a quarter (23%) of UK adults will not return to their favourite café, bar or restaurant until Coronavirus is defeated.

For many, it’s the need to use a public toilet that makes or breaks their decision to visit their favourite bar or restaurant, with 45% saying it’s a key factor.

However more than half (51%) of those surveyed would feel more comfortable if hand sanitiser was readily available after using washrooms and 44% would like to use products to clean surfaces with, such as toilet seat wipes.

But some respondents want to see businesses go even further. More than one-quarter (29%) of Brits would like to see air cleaning systems installed to remove airborne bacteria, while three in 10 would prefer a permanent toilet attendant in place to clean surfaces after use.

A total of 44% of people would like motion sensors fitted to taps and the toilet flush to reduce the number of touch points and more than one-third (35%) would prefer a mechanism to open washroom doors without needing to use their hands.

Personal hygiene is also a bigger priority for Brits nowadays, as the research showed people are spending more time washing their hands, likely to be a result of the government hand-washing campaign. Respondents on average now wash and sanitise their hands, eight times a day, compared to just five times before. More than two-fifths (44%) say they now carry hand sanitiser when they go out and more than a quarter (27%) sanitise items they’ve bought, including grocery shopping.

More than half (53%) said that regular cleaning of public spaces would make them most comfortable when out in public, while 36% would prefer to see a consistent wearing of personal protective equipment, including gloves and facemasks.

It also emerged more than a quarter (27%) are fearful of returning to their place of work, but would feel more confident if their workplace provided personal sanitiser bottles to staff, surface wipes and ensured that staff toilets were regularly cleaned.