Google on Iphone

On February 22nd 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the government's roadmap to take England out of the lockdown.

The official announcement outlined a four-step approach to the reopening, with key dates and dependencies. The PM also made it clear that there will be a minimum of five weeks between each step to assess any new measures.

Although things are still uncertain, the new roadmap has given many of us a glimmer of hope and some renewed optimism for the summer ahead.

It's also given business owners unable to trade some more clarity on what they can do to prepare themselves for their customers' return. 

It's no secret that many of us Brits are itching to get back to the pub – but what else do we miss? 

From gym classes to art galleries, we've all been deprived of something that brings us joy – or lets us escape from our 9-5, and we're now counting down until we can enjoy those activities again.

So with the announcement lifting spirits somewhat, we thought we'd take a look at Google data to find out just what people in the UK were searching for (aside from memes) after Boris Johnson's announcement. 

Google search data gives us a good insight into how consumers will behave post-restrictions. But it also shows small business owners in various industries just how valuable their products and services are and how much they've been missed.

Below we've outlined some interesting search trends after the PM's Monday announcement and tips on how small businesses can leverage this data to make informed decisions in preparation for their grand reopening.

Brits see beer gardens on the horizon

As winter hangs its hat up and we see spring emerge, we're already daydreaming about a crisp cold beer with five friends in a well-spaced beer garden. Across the past week, searches for pub gardens and related search terms have seen increases of over 200%. 

The search data tells us that we're eagerly waiting for April 12th announcements. And with pubs needing to operate with limited staff and fewer visitors, owners should start preparing their booking systems well ahead of time. 

It's also essential that customers are assigned seating areas, and table-service is mandatory. So staff should prepare for a safe and effective contact-free payment method that makes this process efficient for customers. 

All Dojo card machines are ready to integrate seamlessly with your EPOS. This means waiting staff can settle tables from the card machine without having to pace back to the EPOS, and customers can keep a safe distance by paying from the comfort of their seats.

Search query 

Increase in searches this week 

When can pub gardens open?

2,900%

Pub gardens open UK 

2,100%

Pub beer gardens open

1,300%

Beer gardens near me

950%

Bottomless brunch – back with a bang?

Not even a global pandemic could stop bottomless brunch's popularity. With friends organising their take on boozy breakfasts over Zoom, it's no surprise that after the latest announcement, searches for bottomless brunch surged. 

Londoner's seem extra keen with the search term 'outdoor bottomless brunch London' increasing by 800%. 

Rooftop bottomless brunch' was also incredibly popular, with searches increasing by 500% in the past few days. So if you're in the hospitality sector, now could be the time to top up your prosecco orders and spruce up your menu to cater to this bottomless demand. 

Is the weight almost over? 

As outdoor venues are set to open, the roadmap also announced that gyms and indoor leisure and sports facilities could reopen to the public on April 12th, if deemed secure.  

It seems like this couldn't come soon enough for fitness fanatics, who've been searching Google relentlessly for answers. 'When can indoor gyms open?' searches on Google increased by a massive 4,850% after Boris Johnson's announcement on Monday. 

A taste of freedom 

After being severely affected by pandemic restrictions, the hospitality industry will be paying close attention to the government's updates to reopen on April 12th – or, if confined to indoors, May 17th.  

The general public has certainly missed dining out, with restaurant-related searches soaring. 

Restaurant owners can make the most of these increased search trends by making small changes to their Google business listings and website content, including whether they offer outdoor dining. 

This could increase the likelihood of a website returning on Google for terms such as 'restaurants with outdoor seating near me', which could, in turn, increase footfall to your restaurant.

Search query 

Increase in searches this week 

When can restaurants reopen indoors?

3,050%

Outdoor dining London

3,000%

Restaurants with outdoor seating near me

2,600%

Outdoor restaurants

1,500%

Restaurants with outdoor seating

1,500%

When will indoor restaurants open?

1,400%

When can restaurants in England open?

750%

Tattoo parlours are sorely missed

It seems like vaccines aren't the only jabs people are waiting for. According to Google search data, the UK is ready to get inked. The search term 'When can tattoo parlours open?' increased by 800% during this week already. Other searches around tattoo shops reopening in the UK rose to above 400%. 

A hopeful future

The initial roadmap and dates are not concrete, and all depend on the success of the vaccination roll-out and the decrease in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalisations. For more guidance on the roadmap, see all of the official government proposals here

But with a plan ahead, both business owners and consumers will be waiting patiently for a return to some normality. As we can see from Google data, we're all eager to return to pubs, restaurants and gyms without jeopardising anyone's safety. 

Businesses should start preparing their reopening plans early to ensure they're well-equipped for what could well be their most memorable summer of trading. 

 

Methodology:

We analysed data from Google Search Trends to find increased search volume for queries related to the lockdown easing announcements.