Sales jump 30% during second week of Eat Out to Help Out scheme

The second week of the Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) initiative saw a 30% increase in sales compared with the week before the scheme started, new research from Fourth has revealed.

However, the research shows there was a slight drop off in sales for the second week when compared with the opening week of the scheme, with sales down collectively 13% between Monday-Wednesday (10-12 August).

Quick-service restaurants experienced a 30% decrease in sales, pubs and bars a 20% fall, and restaurant sales were down 6%.

Furthermore, Fourth’s data suggested that the majority of companies have been reporting EOTHO sales figures inclusive of the discount, and in doing so are understating their sales performance. Once these numbers are added in, Fourth claims there will be a “further increase in these figures”.

The spike in consumer demand has also led to an increase in the hours worked by employees in the industry.

The total hours scheduled between Monday-Wednesday of the opening week jumped 17% from the previous week, with pubs accounting for a 13% increase, restaurants 33%, and QSR 15%.

For the second week of the EOTHO initiative, operators readjusted their staffing levels to meet demand and there was a 4% increase in the hours scheduled, when compared to the prior week. The hours scheduled at pubs remained flat, while restaurants increased by 14% and QSR by 5%.

Sebastien Sepierre, managing director EMEA at Fourth, said: “The Government’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative has had a significant impact in driving footfall to hospitality venues between Monday to Wednesday. Reinstating consumer confidence in the safety of eating and drinking out of home is paramount to getting the industry back on its feet and on track to achieving pre-Covid operating levels.

“The good weather has also encouraged consumers to return to hospitality venues, and has allowed businesses to extend capacity with outdoor areas, with the pub sector reaping the rewards.”

He added: “With uncertainty around consumer demand in the first week of the initiative, and some employees still furloughed, operators were understandably cautious with managing their staffing levels.

“However, following the positive spike in trading during the first week, there has been an increase in the number of hours scheduled in the industry, which in turn will have a positive impact on the overall customer experience, which is crucial to ensuring the initiative generates a sustained positive impact for the industry.”

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