However, the data reveals that revenue continues to run at nearly double 2019 levels.
The Tracker, which measures sales at Britain’s leading managed restaurant and pub groups, shows that combined sales by value for October were 98% higher than in October 2019, and 13% above October 2020, when businesses were operating under severe Covid-19 restrictions.
Since restrictions lifted completely in the summer, the rate of 2021-on-2019 growth has steadily slowed from 206% in July to 176% in August, and down to 130% in September.
The Tracker from CGA and Slerp shows the increase in delivery sales since 2019 has been seven times higher than takeaways — a result of consumers becoming more used to having food and drink delivered to their door rather than picking it up. Put together, deliveries and takeaways accounted for just over 27 pence in every pound of spending at managed groups in October 2021.
“Takeaway and delivery sales continue to out-perform pre-pandemic levels," says Slerp founder JP Then, who also owns the Crosstown Doughnuts group.
"As more diners return to the on premise, we’re seeing the importance of digitalisation of the entire restaurant experience with an increase in adoption of products such as order at table solutions as well as continuing demand for online ordering.
"Operators who harness the power of digital for both on and off premise dining are the operators seeing the biggest success.”
Growth in deliveries and takeaways continues to be much higher than in eating and drinking out.
The October edition of the separate CGA Coffer Business Tracker, with a different cohort of contributing companies, indicates that managed restaurants, pubs and bars grew their sales by 3% on October 2019.
“Deliveries and takeaways have boomed ever since lockdowns began in Spring 2020, but sales are now starting to settle into new patterns," says Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA.
"However, with many people growing accustomed to the convenience of deliveries, and concerns about eating and drinking out lingering for others, these channels are going to remain central to trading.
"For all managed groups, balancing at-home and eat-in business, and growing both without compromising either, is going to be an operational priority as we move into 2022.”