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Pub and restaurant sales dive 90% in November

Managed pub and restaurant groups across the UK saw sales drop 90.2% in November, as lockdown hit England and trading restrictions continued in Scotland and Wales, according to the latest data from CGA.

Its research collected sales figures directly from 48 out of the 60 leading hospitality companies that provided data to the November sales tracker.

Group-owned restaurants reportedly fared “marginally better”, as some were able to operate on a delivery basis, but these businesses still saw total sales fall 65.9% against the prior year.

Total sales in food-led pubs were down 85%, with the tracker reporting that whole total sales in the market were 79% below November 2019.

CGA revealed that by the last week of November, only 6% of Britain’s managed pubs and restaurants were trading, with weekly sales down 88% across the market, and trading in “drink-led sites almost non-existent”.

At the end of November the tracker reported that underlying annual like-for-like sales for the whole market were down by 43.7% against the previous year.

Karl Chessell, director of CGA, said: “November was a wipe out for the sector, and came on the back of difficult trading in both September and October as the roll-out of more regional Covid-19 restrictions depressed sales.

“Although August with the Eat Out To Help Out initiative saw healthy sales in food-led businesses, since then trading has become progressively harder. Total sales for the sector were 21% below 2019 levels in September and 33.9% down in October before hitting the buffers last month.”

He added: “With half the country still in effective lockdown in tier 3, and severe limits on trading in the other half in tier 2, it is hard to see the sector finding much to celebrate in the run up to Christmas, always the market’s most important sales period.”

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