,UK

Restaurant, pub sales in July just 6% down from pre-COVID-19 levels as staycations rise

Bars are also enjoying a ‘Freedom Day’ boost.

Britain’s managed pub, restaurant and bar groups saw sales close to pre-COVID-19 levels in July as hospitality strives to continue its recovery.

The new edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker revealed that total sales were just 6% down on the same month in 2019. Restaurants had a particularly strong showing, with sales only 2% below 2019, whilst drink-led pubs and pub restaurants were down 9% and 8% respectively. 

Bars enjoyed a boost from the easing of restrictions on the late-night sector, with sales ending 3% short of 2019.

The Tracker, produced by CGA in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM, said venues benefited from generally good weather in July, along with the popularity of ‘staycations’ at the start of the school holidays.

Domestic tourism contributed regionally, with sales outside the M25 were down by 2% year-on-year, but dropping 15% within the M25 as visitor and worker numbers remained low.
 
Rolling 12-month sales to the end of July 2021 were down by 20% on the previous 12 months to July 2020, a period that included the country’s first lockdown.
 
Karl Chessell, director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA, said: “Trading conditions remain difficult though, and the 20% drop in rolling sales since July 2020 highlights COVID-19’s heavy toll on the sector and the need for continued support. On top of major operational challenges, it means that not all businesses are out of the woods yet.”

Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “It’s not really like for like because so many factors are different in 2021 against 2019 but these numbers do demonstrate that on a national basis consumers are increasingly confident to go out. Much behaviour is different, and more time is spent closer to home but the numbers overall are steadily improving. The future is getting brighter.”
  
56 companies provided data to the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker.

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