The Eat Out to Help Out scheme propelled food sales to 3% above the same week in 2019, CGA’s latest data shows.
OnMonday (10 August), food sales through CGA’s Volume Pool of 7,000 managed outlets were 78% higher than on the equivalent Monday in 2019—and there were big upswings on Tuesday 11 August (+62%) and Wednesday 12 August (+64%) too. Across all seven days to last Sunday (16 August), food sales were up by 3% on the same week in 2019.
This is a sharp increase on a 9% drop in week-on-week sales in the previous seven days—indicating the growing popularity of the Eat Out to Help Out deal as it moved into its second week. Food sales on Monday 10 August were 33% higher than the previous Monday—the first day it was available—and there were sharp week-on-week rises on Tuesday (+28%) and Wednesday (+16%) too. The government has reported that 35 million meals were claimed under the scheme in the first two weeks, and anecdotal evidence suggests that take-up has been even higher in the third week of operation.
While it has kickstarted trade from Mondays to Wednesdays, food sales over the rest of the week have remained well below 2019’s levels. Food sales last Thursday and Friday (13 and 14 August) were down by 34% and 27% on the equivalent days in 2019. The weekend saw year-on-year sales down 25% and 34% on Saturday and Sunday (15 and 16 August).
The figures follow news from CGA’s Consumer Pulse survey that more than half of British adults have gone back to the on-trade since lockdown, and 39% of those using the offer in its first two weeks were making their first visit since lockdown.
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme continues to have a massive impact on food sales across the first three days of the week, and it has undoubtedly encouraged many consumers to return to eat in pubs, bars and restaurants for the first time,” says Rachel Weller, CGA’s Head of Consumer Research and Marketing. “The knock-on effect on the other four days of the week has yet to fully materialise, but as consumers recover their confidence about eating out we will hopefully start to realise the full benefits of this stimulus to trade.”