Which businesses are part of the night-time economy?

When you think about the night-time industry, chances are you think about nightclubs, bars and pubs. But, actually, the night-time economy is defined as businesses that are open between 6pm and 6am. Here, we take a look at the growing number of organisations joining this £66billion industry. 

Pop-up events and late night openings

Night-time businesses don’t have to be 24/7 establishments. Pop-up events, such as markets or outdoor food festivals, often happen during the evenings and into the night. Some businesses, particularly retail, also open late on certain days or for particular events. 

Theatres and live entertainment 

Of course, theatres and music venues have always operated at night (aside from the occasional matinee). Yet we don’t often think of theatres as part of our night-time economy. The night-time ecosystem also involves theatre-goers and those heading along to gigs. In the same way people enjoy a meal before a bar crawl, pre-theatre meals are particularly popular. 

Cultural institutions

Museums and art galleries typically open during “normal” working hours. Yet we’re seeing a rise in the number of institutions opening for Late sessions. For example, Eureka! The National Children’s Museum regularly arranges adult only late night sessions for grown ups to relive their childhood and enjoy the magic of science once more. 

Opening museums and galleries later allows for those who work 9-5 to enjoy culture in the evening. No longer are we resigned to just enjoying culture during the weekend! 

Salons and barbers

Those who work in the night-time industry must adjust to the night-time lifestyle. To accommodate late night workers, many barbers, hairdressers and beauty salons have adjusted their hours. Whether that’s opening later on just a few nights a week, or being totally flexible and adjustable with appointment times, these businesses are cashing in and providing an invaluable service to late night workers. 

Other industry workers

Hospital workers, cleaners, professional services… many different industries employ workers at night. Night shifts are popular in a number of industries, and these workers are part of the vital night-time economy. If you work antisocial or irregular hours, it’s important employees can access the shops and public transport when they need to. 

Diversifying is key to keeping the night-time economy alive

The night-time industry shouldn’t be associated with nightclubs, anti-social behaviour and binge drinking. It’s an important, thriving industry that encompasses many wonderful and enriching activities. By incorporating even more businesses into the economy, including salons, retail, professional services and cultural institutions, we can expect to see society’s view of the night-time industry evolving. We will start to view the industry as a vibrant and important one – full of interest and uniqueness rather than one perhaps associated with drinking and raucous behaviour. This is an inaccurate and unfair representation of what the night-time economy truly delivers. 

This whitepaper offers an in-depth, interesting view on how to manage the night-time economy and its perceptions. 

Factors impacting the night-time economy

Access to safe, regular public transport at all times is key. Different city leaders are campaigning to ensure night-time workers have access to the transport they need to get home safely after their shift. Relying on taxis or cars might not be viable for everyone. 

Enhanced security should also be a factor. Bag checks, ID and regular security patrols could help to keep your business, employees and customers safe. Every business should have security measures in place, but this is particularly important for businesses that operate at night. People simply don’t feel as safe in the dark – organisations should take this into account and make sure they put additional security measures in place. 

Employers in the night-time industry should also take into account the potential impact working irregular or anti-social shifts can have on an employee’s mental health. Adjusting to new sleeping and eating patterns can have a detrimental impact on both physical and mental wellbeing. 

Educating employees and supporting them is key. All businesses within the night-time industry face specific yet similar challenges. Listening to employees and putting measures in place to protect and help them is particularly important. 

Considering your risk management 

Venues diversifying to become part of the night-time economy must take into account the additional risks it brings. Risks include the increased likelihood of customers consuming more alcohol, or risks that become enhanced due to darker environments (such as wires becoming trip hazards). Organisations such as nightclubs or hotels might be familiar with the risks associated with the night-time economy, but organisations such as galleries may need to put additional measures in place to protect the customers visiting them at night. 

Risk management is a vital part of any business strategy, but businesses can’t be expected to go it alone. That’s why NDML has a dedicated team of risk management experts on hand to help you. For more information, get in touch with us.