Covid wipes £9m per hour off UK pub and restaurant sales

Friday, April 30, 2021 2:34 PM

The Covid-19 pandemic wiped out £80.8billion of UK pub and restaurant sales after venues were forced to close or operate under strict restrictions for much of the past 12 months .

The latest figures showed that sales from the start of April 2020 – a week after the start of the first lockdown – to the end of March this year totaled £46billion.

This represents a drop in sales of 64% and equates to around £220m in lost sales every day – or £9m, according to trade organization UK Hospitality.

Pubs and restaurants in England can trade outdoors from April 12 but will not be able to resume indoor service until May 17 at the earliest. Social distancing rules are not expected to be lifted until June 21.

The restrictions that have been in place for the past 12 months – ranging from full closure to 10 p.m. closure to the rule of six – have resulted in the permanent closure of many pubs and restaurants.

Research by CGA and Alixpartners recently found around 12,000 licensed establishments closed across Britain between January last year and March 2021.

Many are still in danger of collapse, especially those without access to any outdoor space or those too small to allow safe social distancing.

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls today warned the sector was ‘by no means yet out of the woods’.

The ability of hospitality to reopen will remain massively hampered until the government delivers on its commitment to drop Covid restrictions and measures on June 21,” Nicholls said.

“Even then, with so many businesses facing rent debt and corporate rate bills, after more than a year with few transactions, many businesses – and thousands more jobs – will be in jeopardy unless additional support is provided, particularly to address the rent debt crisis that threatens our recovery.

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