By Dan Lowery, Director of Surveying, Romans
Cast your mind back to the end of last year, when COVID and lockdowns were rife. Following seven months of almost country-wide shut down, the hospitality industry closed its doors to the public, and pubs were one of many sectors struggling to survive. It was one of the most challenging years for the food and drink industry, with restrictions, staff shortages, the ‘pingdemic,’ and supply chain issues.
But now, with the success of the vaccine rollout and lockdown restrictions lifted, pubs are starting to bounce back. The UK Eating Out Market Report 2021 forecasts a total of £3.1 billion growth for the UK hospitality market from 2022-24, with pubs and restaurants set to claim a £1.3 billion share.
Although I was initially worried about what would happen to the pub industry after such a long period of closure, that sector is now booming. There are more acquisitions going on, and we’re once again being asked to look at buildings for pubs to acquire, so my day-to-day schedule on this front has filled up.
As the industry looks to get back on its feet, it is essential that us surveyors support pub owners by making the process of building surveying for acquisition more streamlined and efficient. Fortunately, the latest technology is available to help us do just that: improve effectiveness, collaboration, and accuracy in building surveying at a time when our clients need it most.
Our role as surveyors is evolving and the increase in innovation provides a sustainable approach to building surveying that will help the commercial sector continue to bounce back following the pandemic. But alongside that technology, it’s essential to have a skilled surveying team and the knowledge of qualified and experienced building surveyors to ensure your project is managed with accuracy.
Less time and resources, more detailed results
Like most industries, commercial surveying is moving away from traditional pen and paper and instead embracing the use of tablets and iPads as well as the developments in software to work in a way that is faster and can also provide more detailed reports while still on site.
It is because of this that iPads now play a significant part in our day-to-day work, allowing us to be more flexible and use technology in the best possible way for our clients. Now, due to positive results we have seen as a result of going digital, we’ve created a bespoke package for our clients, enabling us to work in a way that suits them. At LRG we’ve developed our own bespoke platform so that we can ensure clients are getting exactly what they’ve asked for, and we can tailor this to each survey.
Working in this way means we can take the required images and make notes while on-site rather than noting it down on pen and paper and having to type it up in the office, meaning that clients get the survey quicker. The days of finishing the survey, getting back to the office, and writing up all the notes you have while also trying to juggle phone calls, and requests are gone. It also allows time for a more detailed look at particular elements that the client may be interested in, such as health and safety. This is a much smoother and more consistent way of working, which, really, benefits all involved and means that those in the hospitality industry don’t lose vital time.
Drone technology – is it worth it?
One aspect of technology that many have asked about is drones, surely they’re at the centre of a strategy for moving onwards and upwards? Perhaps not as much as you might think. Upon offering drone technology as a service, we found that very few were keen on it. While they can be useful in terms of looking at a roof, it’s not an everyday tool like iPads have become. It goes without saying that the institution of the Great British Pub, while facing many challenges over the past 18 months, isn’t going anywhere in a hurry. It is because of this that surveyors need to be able to support pubs and the wider hospitality industry and ensure that they are using the most recent and relevant technology to provide a smarter, faster, and overall better service; without it, they risk not capitalising on the post-lockdown boom.
Want to know more about LRG’s surveying offering?
Speak to Dan or one of his Surveys and Valuations team