Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

April delivers ‘solid’ outdoor trading for on-trade groups able to open

Published:  14 May, 2021

Managed pub and restaurant groups able to deliver outdoor service managed to deliver 74% of normal sales in April compared with the same period in 2019, but overall sales were 60% down with a majority still closed.

The figures, from the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker and covering the last three weeks in April, revealed that pubs faired best, with sales 21% down on April 2019, compared with a 30% drop for restaurants, and with bar sales lagging even further behind, down 39%.

With just 51% of sites open by the end of April, based on the 48 companies who provided data to the latest Tracker, good weather combined with pent up demand initially drove a return of customers, although this weakened as cooler and wetter days dampened demand toward the end of the month.

CGA said that the figures represented a “a solid return to trading” for venues that could offer outdoor-only service for three weeks in England, along with a shorter trading period for Scotland and Wales.

However the Tracker also highlighted the harsh blow to managed bar and restaurant groups over the course of the pandemic, with total sales in the sector down 56% over the last 12 months compared with the previous year.

During this period, restaurants performed better than pubs, down 51% and 67% respectively, with strong delivery and takeaway sales for the former behind the differences in trading.

“Managed groups made the best they could of trading opportunities in April, amid some tough restrictions and the vagaries of the British spring weather,” said Karl Chessell, business unit director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA.

“They have been very resourceful in their use of limited space, and for pubs in particular it has been a good springboard for a fuller reopening from 17 May. But the drop in sales of more than half versus the 2019 pre-pandemic benchmark is a reminder of just how hard the industry has been hit by lockdowns and restrictions.”