, UK

Delivery, takeaway sales dip YoY as British cities return to growth

Combined sales in May 2022 were 29% below the level of May 2021.

Delivery and takeaway sales at Britain’srestaurant and pub groups are falling from the peaks of COVID-19 lockdowns, data from CGA by NielsenIQ & Slerp Hospitality at Home Tracker revealed.

Combined sales in May 2022 were 29% below the level of May 2021, the fifth month in a row this year that sales have been below the year prior.

However, the Tracker also shows sales remain well above pre-COVID-19 levels, with growth of 107% in May 2022 compared to May 2019. Delivery sales were 315% higher than three years ago, whilst takeaway and click-and-collect sales were up by 22%. Combined, they accounted for nearly 25 pence in every pound spent.

Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “After flourishing during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, the delivery and takeaway sector has inevitably settled down as consumers go out to eat again. Nevertheless, our Tracker shows the market is more than twice the size it was just three years ago, and it now accounts for a quarter of managed groups’ trading. As the third-party delivery market matures, optimising sales and profits in it without compromising core eat-in business is crucial.”

Slerp founder JP Then added: “We are now getting better visibility as to what a post-pandemic new normal looks like and it’s clear that takeaway and delivery are an important aspect of the channel mix, representing a quarter of revenues. Operators are looking closely at the margins and investing into the channels that enable them to operate effectively, and provide consumers with enough bang for their buck. Establishing a direct online ordering channel with a unique proposition remains key to capturing discretionary consumer spend.”

Another CGA study, this time done with Wireless Social, showed out-of-home food and drink sales in growth in all of Britain’s ten biggest city centres.

Sales were between 1% and 13% higher than in the corresponding four-week period in 2019 in each city, marking the first time that all 10 have been in growth since the report began at the start of 2022.
Glasgow tops the list of “most vibrant” cities, ahead of Bristol and Manchester, whilst Edinburgh moves up four places to fourth.

London, where workers and tourists have been slow to return after COVID-19 restrictions eased, grew its sales for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The capital also saw its best performance for device log-ins, climbing from 6th to 4th place for this metric, likely due to the impact of the Jubilee period from Thursday 2 June to Saturday 4 June.
Log-ins, however, remain well down in all 10 cities compared to 2019, indicating that growth is being driven by higher spend-per-visit rather than footfall.

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