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Fri 24th Jul 2020 - Pub and restaurant groups in England see trade improve to almost 70% of pre-coronavirus levels
Pub and restaurant groups in England see trade improve to almost 70% of pre-coronavirus levels: Managed pub, bar and restaurant groups with businesses open in England reported improving sales in the second week after lock-down lifted as more sites reopened, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Levels remain well below pre-coronavirus norms, with figures for the week beginning 13 July showing collective like-for-like sales in sites trading 31.6% down on the same week last year. However, that was a better performance than the minus 39.8% level recorded in the first week back. Overall, total sales across the managed pub, bar and restaurant market were up 40.6% on week one of trading. Three-fifths (60%) of group-operated sites were open for eating and drinking inside, up from the 55% trading during the first week after restrictions lifted. Restaurants saw the biggest shift, with like-for-likes down 26.9% compared with 40.0% down in the first week. Restaurant groups have generally taken a more cautious approach to reopening, with less than one-quarter (24%) of sites open for business compared with 17% in week one. Pub groups have generally been more ambitious in their reopening strategies, with almost three-quarters (74%) of sites open in week two compared with 70% the week before. Pubs that were open during the week saw sales down 32.4% year-on-year, compared with 39.3% down year-on-year the week before. Bars that were open saw sales down 41.3% compared with 42.9% in week one – and only a few more bars opened for business in week two, with the total up from 42% to 44%. “Trading at approaching 70% of pre-coronavirus norms after just two weeks should be seen as a solid performance in light of consumers’ stated caution about going out to eat and drink again after lock-down,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM. “The steady improvement on the first week back is also encouraging and operators will hope to maintain that momentum as more sites open their doors. Providing the public with reassurance it’s safe to go out and they will also have a good time is going to be crucial.” In all, 45 companies provided data to the Tracker, with another ten operators reporting they had yet to open any sites.

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