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22nd April 2021

Sun shines on hospitality’s outside sales

Written by: Edward Waddell
CGA data shows like-for-like spending last week was well ahead of post-lockdown trading in July 2020, despite limited to outdoor space.

Like-for-like sales at pubs, bars and restaurants that were trading in the seven days from last Monday (12 April) were 45% higher than in the week from 4 July 2020, when they were able to resume both inside and outdoor service.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “It is wonderful to see busy venues again, as people can at long last meet with friends after three months of lockdown, albeit only outdoors.

“Trading in such circumstances was always likely to benefit from a welcome initial spike but the return of limited trading cannot overshadow the fact most venues remain closed. For any semblance of widespread viability to return to the sector, it is crucial that the Government delivers on its commitment to dropping all restrictions from 21 June.

“If that milestone lapses, then the Government will need to be poised to provide further support for the sector—an investment that would be fully justified, given our ability to drive economic recovery.”

Drinks sales in trading venues last week were 49% higher than in the reopening week of July 2020, while food sales were up 34%. When compared to the previous week in April 2019, like-for-like sales were 1% higher.

Jonny Jones, managing director at CGA UK & Ireland, added: “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."