As pubs, bars and restaurants in England reopen, the latest data suggests that like-for-like sales are down 39.8% on the same period last year, but there is some positive news.
According to the latest data from Coffer Peach Business Tracker, sales in the week commencing 6 July were down 39.3% in pubs, 42.9% in bars and 40% in restaurants, compared to the same week in 2019.
However, there was some positive news. Data showed that more sites opened up during the week, compared to the first weekend on which hospitality was allowed to reopen in England (4-5 July). Comparatively, full-week sales were also stronger than those achieved over the first weekend, when like-for-like sales were 44.5% below last year’s figure.
The statistics showed that a far greater number of pubs reopened straight away than restaurants or bars.
CGA’s industry barometer revealed that 70% of managed pubs and pub restaurants reopened, compared to just 17% of restaurants and 42% of bars.
This was based on CGA collecting sales data from 44 major pub, restaurant and bar operators. A further 11 companies told the analyst that they had not opened any sites.
Karl Chessell, director of CGA, said the sales performance achieved in English hospitality was actually superior to many other global markets.
“Trading at almost 60% of pre-Covid norms is actually a better performance than many other markets internationally, such as the US, experienced on reopening. The sector still has a long way to go, but this sets the benchmark against which the speed of recovery will be judged,” Chessell said.
CGA supervises the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM.
Chessell added: “Operators told us that most would be taking a phased approach to reopening and we have seen this in the figures. The 70% of managed pubs in the first full week compares to just 42% over the first weekend, and although restaurants have been taking an even more cautious approach we know more will be open next week.”
It follows a statement last week by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the temporary reduction of VAT on hospitality from 20% to 5%. Sunak also unveiled the introduction a ‘Eat Out Help Out’ discount scheme for the month of August. The VAT reduction will apply to food bought in restaurants and for takeaway from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021. The discount scheme will offer 50% off meals in sit-down venues (up to a value of £10 per head) from Monday to Wednesday throughout August.