Pubs and BarsRestaurants

Drink sales fall below pre-pandemic levels, CGA reveals

CGA said this was the first time that spirits trading has been in the red since August.

Drink sales fell 12% in the week to Saturday 27 November compared to the same week in 2019 after Storm Arwen affected weekend trading, CGA’s Drinks Recovery Tracker revealed.

Average sales by value for Britain’s managed pubs, bars and restaurants fell below pre-pandemic levels, and Friday and Saturday were the “toughest days” with sales down 19% and 13% respectively.

According to CGA, disruption to weekend trading hit the spirits category particularly hard, with sales down 2% on the same week in 2019. 

CGA said this was the first time that spirits trading has been in the red since August, although it was still the strongest drinks category, with beer down 15%, cider down 16%, wine down 17%, and soft drinks down 11%, all reportedly lagging pre-Covid levels.

Additionally, sales were between 4% and 11% short of 2019’s levels on every other day of last week, as trading also became affected by breaking news of the Omicron variant of Covid.

CGA said that fears of the new variant, rising infection rates and speculation about potential restrictions on socialising may have “dented consumer confidence” as pubs, bars and restaurants were getting ready for the Christmas period.

Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director of UK and Ireland, said: “Bad weather often interrupts drinks sales in the winter months, but the Omicron variant is a much bigger concern in the short-term. 

“Pubs, bars and restaurants face an anxious wait to see its impact on the Christmas party season, and all operators and suppliers will be hoping that hospitality can escape restrictions over the most important few weeks of trading of the year.”

Back to top button