Outdoor hospitality reports bumper first week sales, but recovery still a way off

21 April 2021 by
Outdoor hospitality reports bumper first week sales, but recovery still a way off

Hospitality businesses that reopened in England last week saw a bigger bounce in sales than after the first national lockdown was eased in 2020, despite being limited to outdoor service.

According to data from CGA, like-for-like sales at pubs, restaurants and bars in the week from 12 April were 45% higher than in the seven days after 4 July last year, when both indoor and outside dining could resume.

Drinks sales were 49% higher compared to the July reopening, while food sales were up 34%.

The first day of trading also saw drinks sales more than double that seen during the same week in April 2019.

However, with only 23% of licensed premises in England able to reopen for outdoor service, total sales remain far below pre-pandemic levels.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said that the "initial spike" in trade could not overshadow the fact that most venues remain closed.

Jonny Jones, CGA's managing director for UK and Ireland, said: "Pent-up demand from consumers to get back out into pubs, bars and restaurants is clear and the first visit fear that many had in July last year is now playing less of a role in their decision to do so.

"However, with less than a quarter of outlets in England accepting guests last week, this demand has been spread over fewer venues which is driving performance for those that have reopened. So, whilst this is a good start for the sector, it's clear that hospitality's recovery still has a very long way to go."

Photo: Alex Yeung/shutterstock.com

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