April pub and restaurant sales down 60% from 2019

Managed pub and restaurant groups saw a 60 %% drop in total sales in April compared to the same month in 2019, according to the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker.

Restaurants performed slightly better than pubs, with declines of 51% and 67% respectively, due to strong delivery and take-out sales.

At constant scope, with a majority of sites still closed, the groups also recorded a 26% drop in sales in April 2021 compared to April 2019. The figure covers three full weeks of foreign service only in England as well as trade in Scotland and Wales, and represents a “solid return” to trade for the sector.

According to the CGA, operators benefited from generally mild weather and strong consumer confidence during the first half of trading, although low temperatures and rains held back sales towards the end of the month.

During this period, the tracker shows that pubs have outperformed restaurants since reopening, in part thanks to greater availability of outdoor space. April sales for pubs were down 21% from April 2019, compared to a 30% drop for restaurants. Bars were the weakest segment, with like-for-like sales down 39%.

Karl Chessell, Business Unit Manager – Hotel and Catering Operators, EMEA at CGA, said:

“They were very ingenious in their use of limited space, and for pubs in particular, it was a good springboard for a more complete reopening from May 17th. But the drop in sales of more than half from the pre-pandemic 2019 benchmark is a reminder of how badly the industry has been hit by lockdowns and restrictions. “

He added: “Although consumers are eager to return to the hospitality industry, it will clearly be a long and uneven road to recovery, and the sector will need sustained government support if it is to help revive the industry. ‘British economy over the remainder of 2021. “

Mark Sheehan, Managing Director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: “This like for like is a testament to the creativity of hospitality. The imagination to create outdoor spaces has been inspiring and plays on the strengths of the sector.

“The support from consumers across the country shows the appreciation of the industry in general and operators individually. There is no doubt that there has been pent-up demand and it will take some time for companies to understand where the levels of trade really are. “

Paul Newman, Leisure and Hospitality Manager, RSM, added: “Operators will be greatly encouraged by the response they have had to the reopening of their outdoor spaces and will now turn their attention to welcoming customers to inside from Monday. Many companies remain in a precarious financial situation and are unlikely to return to profit before June 21, when all restrictions related to Covid-19 will finally be lifted.

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