Restaurant, pub sales down by a quarter in April
Pubs are drawing on outside space to outperform restaurants.
Managed pub and restaurant groups recorded a 26% drop in like-for-like sales in April compared to the same month in 2019, according to the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker.
The figure covers three full weeks of outside-only service in England as well as briefer trading in Scotland and Wales, which CGA says represents a “solid return to trading” for the sector.
Pubs have outperformed restaurants since reopening, attributed to greater availability of outside space. Pubs’ April sales were 21% down in April 2019, compared to a 30% drop for restaurants. Bars, meanwhile, were the weakest segment, with like-for-like sales down 39%.
On a total sales basis, groups saw a 60% drop in April 2021 from April 2019. Restaurants were down 51% compared to pubs, which were down 67%.
Total sales over the last 12 months have been 56% lower than in the previous year, the Tracker found.
“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, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM.
“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 over the last 12 months is a reminder of just how hard the industry has been hit by lockdowns and restrictions.” total of 48 companies provided data to the Coffer CGA Business Tracker.