Delivery and Takeaway Sales Drop Again for Post-COVID Restaurants and Pubs

Restaurant and pub groups’ delivery and takeaway sales continue to plateau after booming during COVID lockdowns, the latest CGA & Slerp Hospitality at Home Tracker reveals.

It shows that combined sales in June 2022 were 23% below the level of June 2021, when venues were subject to trading restrictions and some consumers remained hesitant about eating out. It is the eighth month of year-on-year decline in a row recorded by the Tracker.

Nevertheless, sales remain well above pre-COVID levels, with growth of 113% in June 2022 from the last pre-pandemic June of 2019. The Tracker’s breakdown of sales indicate that delivery sales were 275% higher than three years ago, while takeaway and click-and-collect sales were up by a much more modest 39%. This reflects a steady move away from takeaway pick-ups to the convenience of deliveries to consumers’ doors via third-party platforms.

Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said:
“With trading conditions in restaurants and pubs returning to normal, a slowdown in delivery and takeaway sales was to be expected in the first half of 2022, and it suggests that most of Britain’s consumers have returned to their pre-COVID eating-out habits. However, this sector is still more than twice the size it was before the pandemic, and it’s now worth nearly 24 pence in every pound spent in managed pubs and restaurants who contribute to the tracker. Balancing eat-in and at-home operations, and achieving growth in both without compromising either, will be a top priority for businesses over the second half of the year.”

Slerp founder JP Then says:

“Delivery has seen unprecedented growth of 275% in the past three years, and while eating out has returned to more or less the levels seen pre-pandemic, online ordering and delivery is continuing to grow. Brands offering direct-to-consumer online ordering are seeing up to 40% of sales taking place online. For these businesses, delivery is an essential part of their operations and their online customers are as important to them as their On Premise customers. In the face of increasing cost of living challenges, it is inevitable that consumers are becoming more discerning with their discretionary spending which makes owning a direct relationship to loyal customers as important as ever.”