There is good news for thousands of pub and restaurant owners across the UK, after the reopening of hospitality on Monday. The sales of drinks have soared and have even doubled on pre-coronavirus figures.
Although many venues are still closed due to the ban on indoor hospitality, those that could open have benefitted from a wealth of customers looking for socially distanced pints.
One pub manager has even compared the higher-than-average April sales at outdoor venues to “Christmas trading,” which especially rings true as many parts of the country have even had snowfall this past week.
The CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker has recorded sales 58.6% higher at 1,687 licensed premises than they were on an equivalent day in 2019.
Despite high numbers of drinks being purchased, food sales were down by 11.7%. There has been an incredibly high demand for meetups between friends and families.
These numbers are a promising sign that the hospitality sector is on the road to recovery. However, the data only covers the small percentage of venues that have opened. Only 38% of hospitality venues have outdoor space, and many of these are still closed.
This has also been recognised by the chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), who pointed out that only 40% of premises have been able to reopen.
On the 17th of May, inside hospitality, which has suffered more than any other industry, is due to reopen.
Emma McClarkin has commented, however, that “even though they (pubs) seem full, the reality is pubs are operating with just 20% of the space they’d usually have … It is for this reason we need pubs to open indoors and out as soon as possible and the restrictions to be removed to allow us a chance at trading viably and making any kind of profit.”
S4Labout, a software provider in the hospitality industry has said that their customers' combined sales have been higher than in 2019, despite closures due to lockdown.
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