Christmas sales in restaurants, pubs and bars fall almost 80%

29 December 2020 by
Christmas sales in restaurants, pubs and bars fall almost 80%

Restaurants, pubs and bars saw takings slump by almost 80% between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day as coronavirus restrictions forced thousands of venues to close for eat-in dining.

Total sales fell by 79.4% over the three-day period compared to last year, according to figures from hospitality software management firm S4Labour.

The study, which was based on data from 2,000 hospitality businesses that work with S4Labour, found food sales dropped 64% while drinks takings were down 84%.

Boxing Day was the worst day of trading, with sales falling 88% year-on-year, while takings were down 71.% on Christmas Eve and 78.5% on Christmas Day.

The majority of England moved into the strictest Tier 3 and Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions on 26 December, meaning hospitality venues had to close except for takeaway and delivery.

S4Labour's chief product officer Richard Hartley said: "This unpredictable year has ended in very suppressed Christmas sales due to ever increasing Covid restrictions, and it's not looking likely to change for a while yet."

Hospitality trade bodies have urgently called for further financial support following the Boxing Day shutdown.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) estimates that 82% of pubs are now in Tier 3 or 4 areas, and 94% are unviable.

UKHospitality said that the rise in coronavirus infections had occurred while much of the industry was shut down and that without further support many jobs "will have been sacrificed for little effect".

Photo: Shutterstock

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