Like-for-like sales across Britain’s pubs, bars and restaurants fell 15% in the week ended 15 March, one day before the Prime Minister’s warning to avoid these destinations amid the Covid-19 threat.
Meanwhile, pub sales fell by 12% and bar sales dropped by 14% in the same period.
The latest figures from the CGA closely follow its results of a snap consumer survey published last Thursday, that suggested 58% of adults between 18 and 65 would “heed advice” and stay away from pubs, restaurants and bars.
Phil Tate, chief executive of CGA, said: “Public concern about the virus was already taking its toll on the out-of-home market even before Boris Johnson’s intervention on Monday. We can only expect the figures to worsen this week.
“We also know that London has been hit much harder than other parts of the country, even before the spate of closures that have followed the official advice to stay at home and avoid pubs, bars and restaurants.”
He added: “In these uncertain and unprecedented times, it is vital that the market receives the most up-to-date and accurate data on which to base the crucial business decisions that companies will need to take.
“The industry collectively, through its trade body UKHospitality, is able to make the strongest case possible to the government, and the country at large, for sector support.”