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On-trade reports 40% drop in weekly sales

Published:  17 July, 2020

Sales across on-trade sites open in England in the first week after lockdown was lifted were down 39.8% compared to the same week last year, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker data released today.  

The research for the week commencing 6 July found that 55% of group-operated sites had reopened for eating and drinking inside, up from the 36% trading on the first weekend restrictions were lifted. 

Full-week sales were also better than they were over the first Saturday and Sunday, when like-for-likes were 44.5% below pre-Covid norms, according to the tracker, produced by CGA in association with The Coffer Group and RSM. 

Bars that were open were 42.9% down on a like-for-like basis, with group-owned restaurants down 40.0%, while pubs saw sales drop 39.3% on the same week in 2019.

However, many more pubs opened their doors than restaurants and bars, with the industry barometer showing that 70% of managed pubs and pub restaurants traded, while just 17% of restaurants and 42% of bars were open for business.

Trading at "almost 60% of pre-Covid norms" was a better performance than many other markets internationally, such as the US, experienced on reopening, said CGA. 

“The sector still has a long way to go, but this sets the benchmark against which the speed of recovery will be judged,” said director Karl Chessell.

“Operators told us that most would be taking a phased approach to reopening and we have seen this in the figures. The 70% of managed pubs in the first full week compares to just 42% over the first weekend, and although restaurants have been taking an even more cautious approach we know more will be open next week,” he added. 

CGA will be reporting trading progress via the Tracker on a weekly basis as the market begins to recover and more sites reopen, including measuring week-on-week increases.

In all, 44 companies provided data to the Tracker, with another 11 operators reporting that they had yet to open any sites.