Like-for-like sales in Britain’s managed pub, bar and restaurant groups plummeted 71% in the week that the Government ordered all licensed premises to close down because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Exclusive weekly figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker showed like-for-like trading in restaurant chains down 75%, with managed pubs down 67% and bars, which are more dependent on weekend business, tumbling 88%.
“Many pubs and restaurants, especially away from London, had stayed open even with dwindling trade after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s warning at the start of the week for people to avoid going out. The closure order on Friday obviously then killed all business overnight,” said Phil Tate, Group Chief Executive of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM.
“It was pretty clear that more and more businesses would have shut up shop anyway even without the closure and then lockdown orders, as CGA’s snap consumer poll showed that more and more of the public were going to give up on even attempting to go out,” he added.
The current nationwide lockdown means that only pubs and restaurants providing takeaway or a delivery services will continue to operate, and from next week CGA plans to begin tracking those sales.
CGA’s consumer polling has already shown that the public’s appetite for delivered food and drink from restaurants and takeaways has grown significantly during the current emergency.