Workers calling time on traditional trading hours

Barclays head of corporate banking in Belfast Adrian Doran
Barclays head of corporate banking in Belfast Adrian Doran

Workers in today’s flexible economy are willing to spend cash ‘out of hours’ on hospitality and leisure and businesses are missing out on up to £191 million as a result.

That’s the claim made in the new Barclays Corporate Banking Hospitality and Leisure report which says that as the traditional 9-5 becomes less common, the times at which people want to go to the pub, grab a meal or hit the gym are changing.

Though a quarter of hospitality and leisure businesses recognise this, hours are not keeping up with changes to modern working lives.

Opens All Hours? indicates that just 44% of workers in the province now work a ‘9-5 day’, with a fifth (20%) saying they need different opening hours.

By responding to this demand, across the province restaurants (£40m per annum), takeaways (£74m), and pubs, bars and clubs (£30m) could benefit the most.

“Adapting to the changing consumer demand presents a substantial opportunity for businesses,” said Adrian Doran, head of corporate banking at Barclays in Belfast.

“Our research has shown that leisure operators across Northern Ireland could access a staggering £191m per annum by accommodating their customers’ evolving needs which have been brought on by changing working patterns.

“While that may be a challenge for some providers, understanding the value of the opportunity makes the prize more tangible.

“However, those that don’t adapt to this type of newly developing consumer demand risk being left behind and in this ever-competitive environment, businesses need to weigh up the value of the long-term opportunity over the cost of the short-term investment.”