Spending in the food service market reached 63% of the level seen prior to lockdown in the last week of August, according to figures released by The NPD Group.
The global information company’s statistics revealed that the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme helped give the industry an economic boost last month.
According to NPD’s Crest data, the food service industry normally transacts over £5bn in sales during August, however this year that figure is estimated to be 50% lower due to the impact of Covid-19, with spending levels just above £2.5bn.
NPD’s separate SnapMyEats consumer panel showed that EOHO scheme brought in 11.5m new customers in August, who had not previously eaten out in July.
Dominic Allport, insights director (food service) at The NPD Group, said: ‘‘The Eat-Out-to-Help-Out period of 3 August to 31August saw a definite improvement in spend compared to previous months and operators will see this as the start of a long recovery.
‘‘The important question is whether the restaurant industry will sustain this summer’s improvement into September and October? These two months would typically see 17% of the industry’s annual spend with combined sales of nearly £10 billion.’’
He added: ‘‘However, the foodservice industry is still facing severe pressures and with recent concern about a possible second wave of Covid-19 cases it is likely that any further improvement could be challenging.’’