Like-for-like sales across Britain’s managed pub, bar and restaurant groups fell 15% in the week up to last Sunday – and before the Prime Minister’s warning that the public should avoid going to pubs, clubs and social venues because of the growing COVID-19 threat.
Exclusive weekly figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, the sector’s established sales barometer, showed like-for-like sales in restaurant chains down 21%, with managed pubs down 12% and bars falling 14%, in the week from March 9 to 15.
“Public concern about the virus was already taking its toll on the out-of-home market even before Boris Johnson’s intervention on Monday. We can only expect the figures to worsen this week,” said Phil Tate, Chief Executive of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM.
“We also know that London has been hit much harder than other parts of the country, even before the spate of closures that have followed the official advice to stay at home and avoid pubs, bars and restaurants,” added Tate.
On Thursday this week, CGA released the results of a snap consumer survey that suggested that 58% of adults between 18 and 65, and who usually went out to pubs, restaurants and bars, would heed the advice and stay away.
The Coffer Peach Tracker collects and analyses performance data from 57 operating groups, which between them operate 10,000 sites.
For the period of the COVID-19 emergency, CGA is supporting the market by publishing weekly trading data from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, backed up by the results of regular snap consumer surveys.
The weekly results will be published on its website every Friday, as well as being sent to the media to ensure that the industry is kept up-to-date and front of mind. It is also sharing all the results with UKHospitality, the sector’s trade body, to support lobbying efforts with the Government for further support.
“In these uncertain and unprecedented times, it is vital that the market receives the most up-to-date and accurate data on which to base the crucial business decisions that companies will need to take – and that the industry collectively, through its trade body UKHospitality, is able to make the strongest case possible to the Government, and the country at large, for sector support,” said CGA’s CEO Phil Tate.