Drink sales rocket on hospitality's first day of trading

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Like-for-like sales up nearly 60% at restaurants and pubs compared to 2019 on first day of outdoor trading CGA Gaucho Martin Williams

Related tags: Alfresco dining, Coronavirus, lockdown, Cga, Martin Williams, Gaucho, Pub & bar

Like-for-like drink sales were up by more than 110% on hospitality's first day of trading (12 April) compared to the same day in 2019, according to CGA data.

Figures show that those pubs, bars and restaurants that did reopen on Monday saw like-for-like sales rise by 58.6% against the same day in 2019, with drink sales up by 113.8%.

Food sales didn't enjoy the same boost, though, with like-for-like sales down 11.7%.

Monday marked the first trading day of the year for hospitality venues in England following the extended third national lockdown.

At present businesses are limited to trading outdoors, with indoor settings not able to unlock until 17 May at the earliest.

Around 41,100 hospitality premises in Britain have outdoor space, constituting some 38.2% of all sites.

"The first day of trading after England's lockdown showed a fairly solid performance and demonstrates how consumers were keen to enjoy their first drink out - with like-for-like drinks sales up nearly 115% for outlets that were open compared with the equivalent day in 2019," says Jonny Jones, managing director for CGA UK & Ireland.

"Food sales didn't fare quite so well, at 12% below 2019 levels, but this is understandable given that operators can currently only trade outside." 

Steakhouse group Rare Restaurants, which is led by Martin Williams and encompasses the Gaucho and M brands, reported a strong first day of trading from its reopened sites with sales up 71.5% against 2019.

Booking enquiries, meanwhile, spiked by 150%, according to the group.

"On the whole peoples behaviours were relaxed, positive, and there was a sense of relief," says Williams.

"After living with Covid and the restrictions brought on by it for more than a year now people have become accustomed to the minor but necessary inconveniences caused by the precautions we have had to put in place to keep our guests and teams safe.

"Our guests seemed very comfortable and satisfied."

Related topics: Trends & Reports, Pub & Bar

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