Sales remain above 2019 levels despite EOTHO dip

Food and drink sales have dipped by 63% following the end of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, but start of the week sales remain above 2019 levels according to the latest data from CGA.

CGA’s Volume Pool of 7,000 managed outlets shows that food sales on Monday 7 September dropped significantly on the previous Monday—the last day of Eat Out to Help Out, but with some operators continuing to fund early-week discounts, sales were still up 27% on the equivalent day in 2019.

The following Tuesday and Wednesday (8 and 9 September) also saw year-on-year increases of 18% and 16%.

The latest edition of CGA’s Drinks Recovery Tracker however, shows that the value of drinks sales in the seven days to last Saturday (12 September) was 22% lower than in the same week in 2019. It is a widening of the year-on-year deficit from a 10% drop over the previous week.

Echoing the trend in food, the CGA said consumers appear to be drinking out earlier in the week with sales on Monday 7 September up by 1% year-on-year, and only 5% and 8% down on Tuesday and Wednesday (8 and 9 September).

As in previous weeks, year-on-year trading was weaker later in the week. Food sales were down by between 16% and 24% on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (10 to 12 September), and drinks sales were down by between 25% and 35%.

The Drinks Recovery Tracker shows that pubs (-18%) outperformed restaurants (-34%) on drinks sales across the week continuing a trend that has been evident ever since hospitality reopened in early July.

Jonathan Jones, CGA’s director of Client Services, said: “Eat Out to Help Out was a huge stimulus to the on-trade in August, and while sales have inevitably eased in September, it created welcome momentum in people’s eating and drinking out.

“However, with new restrictions on socialising starting this week, and mounting concerns about infection rates and local lockdowns, the sector faces a big challenge to preserve guests’ optimism about safety and spending in the second half of September.”

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