Eat Out to Help Out scheme not cannibalising weekend trade, says report

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Eat Out to Help Out scheme not cannibalising weekend trade in pubs restaurants hospitality says report

Related tags: Eatouttohelpout, Restaurant, Public house

Sales in restaurants increased by 50% between Monday and Wednesday in the opening week of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out (EOHO) scheme, compared to the previous week, according to research from software provider Fourth.

Data from Fourth also shows that there was no drop off in trade later in the week, when compared with the previous week, despite fears that the scheme, which sees dine-in customers each receive 50% off the cost of food and soft drinks up to a maximum of a £10 discount, would cannibalise weekend trade.

Pubs saw a 26% increases in trade while quick service restaurant (QSR) operators saw trade rise by 22%, according to research.

The data from Fourth reveals a slight drop off in sales for the second week of the initiative, with sales down collectively 13% between Monday-Wednesday (10-12 August), when compared with the opening week.

QSR experienced a 30% decrease in sales, pubs and bars a 20% fall, and restaurant sales were down 6%.

However, the second week of EOHO still resulted in a significant uplift compared to the week before the initiative started, with sales up 30% across the three sectors, says Fourth.

The data suggests the majority of companies have been reporting EOHO sales figures inclusive of the discount, so are understating their sales performance, and will lead to a further increase in these figures once added in.

“The Government’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative has had a significant impact in driving footfall to hospitality venues between Monday to Wednesday,” says Sebastien Sepierre, managing director, EMEA at Fourth.

“Reinstating consumer confidence in the safety of eating and drinking out of home is paramount to getting the industry back on its feet and on track to achieving pre-Covid operating levels.”

He says the good weather was another factor in encouraging consumers to return to hospitality venues, and has allowed businesses to extend capacity with outdoor areas. The pub sector in particular has benefited from this, he adds.

The spike in demand has led to an increase in the hours worked by employees in the industry, which in pubs accounted for a 13% increase, restaurants 33%, and QSR 15%, according to Fourth.

“Following the positive spike in trading during the first week, there has been an increase in the number of hours scheduled in the industry, which in turn will have a positive impact on the overall customer experience, which is crucial to ensuring the initiative generates a sustained positive impact for the industry,” says Sepierre.


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