Enforcing social distancing and other measures because of the coronavirus pandemic has impacted bars and other nightlife entertainment. The fear among many owners is that the damage is irreversible. Eventually, things will return to some normalcy, but will the nightlife entertainment industry ever be the same?
COVID-19 has caused significant damage to the nightlife industry due to social distancing guidelines, lockdowns, compulsory wearing of masks, and the implementation of early curfews. As an alternative, many people have decided to enjoy entertainment at home by ordering drinks, listening to concerts on social media, and enjoying interactive chats with friends and family. Many analysts believe that the nightlife industry may never recover. Millions of nightlife workers have lost their jobs. Is there a future for nightlife after COVID-19?
Changes to the Nightlife Industry
Many analysts point out that the nightlife industry was dealing with significant issues even before the start of the pandemic. In the few years prior, data shows that there was declining demand in partying at packed clubs. There is now a higher demand for gatherings at more private lounges and restaurants. Today’s young party-goers seek new experiences compared to traditional nightclubs.
The rise of the mega-club was due to a change in consumer demand, and ambitious venue owners, and deejays. Club owners and deejays wanted more growth and expansion. The idea of performing at smaller venues was no longer appealing. This caused owners to start building larger venues. Space was created for more VIP tables. Soon, the industry fell victim to over-commercialization.
The nightlife industry used to be known for being exclusive and intimate. Midsize venues could generate almost six figures of income per night. As deejays became popular, they requested higher wages to perform. As a result, many small clubs closed because they were unable to meet the wage demands. When club owners started building bigger spaces, they attracted more outsiders who pushed out the locals. While skyrocketing deejay performance fees are often cited for the decline in traditional clubs, it’s also true that young people simply don’t view them the same way as previous generations.
Planning for Reopening
Many club owners rely on the business interruption coverage in their nightclub insurance policies to keep them afloat. The interruption coverage can help replace some of the lost income due to the pandemic. Bar owners are still offering drinks via curbside pickup and delivery until restrictions are lifted. Bar owners are also experimenting with new takeout and delivery menus.
Some bar owners have purchased thermometers, which allow them to check people’s temperatures when they arrive. Other owners are implementing disposable menus and creating sanitizing stations. In some parts of the country, bar owners are creating outdoor dining and drinking areas along with socially distanced tables.
Bar owners who don’t have full-service kitchens are at a competitive disadvantage. Many smaller bars need the volume. They depend on sales every week to make payroll. Many of these bars may not reopen after the pandemic.
In order for your bar to thrive after COVID-19, you’ll have to use outdoor space to your advantage. Even after the pandemic ends, operating in fully packed indoor spaces is risky. Focus on creating more intimate events. Look at partnering with smaller lounges that create unique programming so that people will have the opportunity to speak with each other.
Embrace cleanliness. Perform frequent cleaning throughout your bar and implement hand sanitizer stations and contactless payments permanently. You also have to prepare for the unexpected. Many of your clients may book reservations at the last minute. Make sure that you have protections in place regarding cancellations and no-show policies.
While the pandemic may have changed the nightlife industry forever, you can still be proactive. Now is the time to think of innovative methods to attract clients and help keep them safe when things get back to normal. If you have any questions about nightclub insurance, contact our experts at RMS Insurance Brokerage, LLC today!