City centre businesses set for financial boost in wake of Covid restrictions easing
- Credit: Matt Adams
Thousands of pounds could be pumped into St Albans' lunchtime economy by workers returning to the office, according to new research.
With the return to Plan A, and a move away from home working, we're set to be spending more in our local coffee shops, takeaways and supermarkets over the coming months.
Even if staff only spend two days a week at their desks, the average worker will spend £1,258.56 each a year, based on the average price of a morning coffee at £2.71 and £6 on lunch, plus any associated transport costs.
The news has been welcomed by city centre businesses.
Sameer Berry, of Infuse Modern Indian Bistro in Waddington Road, said: “We are looking forward to more offices reopening as we get increased lunch orders – both dine in and take out and also bookings for impromptu after-work get togethers - when people decide to head out after a day in the office.
"The biggest thing we are missing, which has gone to zero since Covid, is the big work gatherings and office parties. After such a tough time, our high street is ready to be busy again, and offices reopening are key in that success.”
Oliver Zissman, co-owner of Leafy and a director on the board of St Albans BID (Business Improvement District), added: “The return of office workers will be hugely welcomed by our retail and hospitality businesses who have suffered huge losses due to the impacts of remote working.
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"The higher daytime footfall will undoubtedly increase revenue with improved lunchtime trade, but it will also add energy and vibrancy to our city centre and positively impact our night-time economy, which is key to a healthy city centre economy.”
The research was carried out by Frank Recruitment Group, and their president Zoe Morris said: “There’s a huge range of businesses that will benefit from workers returning to the office.
“Even further beyond the 9-5 are the people working to get us into our cities, serving us post-work drinks and meals - there’s an entire support network around the desk-based workforce that we don’t often think of.”