Coronavirus

Restaurant, pub, and bar July sales down 6% on pre-pandemic levels

The latest Coffer CGA business tracker revealed that restaurants performed the strongest of the three areas in the month, with sales just 2% below July 2019 levels

Managed restaurant, pub, and bar group sales across the UK sat 6% below pre-pandemic levels in July, according to the latest Coffer CGA business tracker.

Produced in partnership between CGA, The Coffer Group, and RSM, the tracker revealed that restaurants performed the strongest of the three areas in the month, with sales just 2% below July 2019 levels.

Bars also benefited from the easing of lockdown restrictions, with sales representing a 3% two-year fall in the same period.

However, drink-led pubs and pub restaurants represented 9% and 8% declines from pre-pandemic sales respectively.

Saxon Mosely, partner at RSM, said that “given the disruption” of the ongoing ‘pingdemic’, the results mark a “real achievement for the sector”.

He added: “As Covid-19 case numbers stabilise, the number of fully-vaccinated adults rises and with a thriving staycation market keeping holidaymakers’ leisure spending in the UK, there is optimism moving into August of a return to trading levels not seen since 2019.”

Karl Chessell, director of hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA, said: “While sales are still some way short of what we would expect at this time of year, July was another steady month of recovery for hospitality.

Restaurants are enjoying the release of latent demand for meals out, and the return of nightclubs and late-night bars was a milestone in the journey back to normality for the drinking out sector.”

He added that as “trading conditions remain difficult” with continued “major operational challenges” it means that “not all businesses are out of the woods yet”.

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