It’s getting better! Customers are finding the retail and hospitality experience more fun now than last year


November 10, 2021


James Odene

Our research shows that shop, pub and restaurant goers feel the experience is getting back closer to pre-pandemic times.

According to our latest Mind The Gap research findings, it’s looking like all the hard work retail and hospitality has put into experience is paying off.

Back in the summer of 2020, our research found that well over half (55.9%) of people disagreed that the retail and hospitality experience was more fun than before the pandemic. In Autumn 2021, that number dropped markedly to just a third (34.4%). The biggest improvement in opinion is with retail (60.2% down to 33.8%), followed by pubs (62.1% down to 38.8%) and finally restaurants (45.5% down to 30.5%).

Drilling a bit deeper, it is interesting to note that of those pub goers back in 2020 who thought the experience was better than before pandemic times, nearly half (46.6%) were specifically in the 35-44 age bracket (see graph 1). Maybe this slightly older demographic segment was appreciating the quieter, less packed atmosphere.

Yet in 2021, the demographic of who finds a pub more fun now is more evenly spread (see graph 2), indicating that the experience put on by the industry is appealing to more of the public. Encouragingly, the same is also true for retail and restaurants in 2021, according to our research.

Adam Castleton, CEO Startle:

“It is very encouraging to see that after such a tough period, shoppers, pub-goers and diners are enjoying a better experience again. This is great news, as delivering a great experience early in the recovery of the pandemic, is setting the lens through which future experiences will be seen. It is the quality out-of-home experience that is the main reason people are compelled to get out again; and these stand-out experiences are ones that we at Startle love to help our customers create.”

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