According to the latest Quarterly Tracker from UKHospitality and CGA, sales slumped by 48% in Q3; a fall of £17bn on the same quarter in 2019.
“This is clearly dreadful news and made all the more desperate when combined with the expectation that Christmas will be, for many businesses, very bleak,” says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.
“Regional lockdowns and additional restrictions are also beginning to bite businesses hard. This highlights the need for clarity on the roadmap for businesses in Tier 2 and 3 regions.
“We need some idea of how businesses can plan to move out of the higher tiers, to give themselves a half chance of success. Otherwise, these awful figures are likely to be surpassed in Q4.”
This latest figure is also £53.2bn less than the £133.5bn generated by the sector in 2019.
“The Tracker makes plain the seismic impact of COVID-19 and restrictions on hospitality," adds Phil Tate, group CEO of CGA.
“After sales were all but wiped out in the second quarter, a 48% fall in the third is not the recovery the sector was hoping for, in spite of the temporary boost from Eat Out to Help Out.
“Hospitality’s sales are inextricably tied to government restrictions on trading and socialising, and every new measure deals another blow to operators and the supply chain.
“Businesses have responded to the pandemic with resilience and innovation, but they need proper, sustained support over what is going to be an extremely challenging winter.”