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Fri 14th May 2021 - April like-for-likes down by a quarter at managed restaurants and pubs while total sales fall 60% versus 2019
April like-for-likes down by a quarter at managed restaurants and pubs while total sales fall 60% versus 2019: Managed pub and restaurant groups recorded a 26% drop in like-for-like sales in April compared with the same month in 2019, the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker showed. The figure covers three full weeks of outside-only service in England as well as briefer trading in Scotland and Wales, and represents a solid return to trading for the sector. Operators enjoyed the benefit of generally good weather and strong consumer confidence in the first fortnight of trading, though low temperatures and rain dampened sales towards the end of the month. The Tracker showed pubs have outperformed restaurants since reopening, thanks, in part, to greater availability of outside space. Pubs’ April sales were 21% down on April 2019, compared with a 30% drop for restaurants. Bars were the weakest segment, with like-for-like sales down 39%. On a total sales basis, with the majority of sites still closed, groups saw a 60% drop in April 2021 from April 2019. Restaurants (down 51%) performed better than pubs (down 67%) on this measure, due to strong delivery and takeaway sales. “The drop in sales of more than half over the past 12 months is a reminder of just how hard the industry has been hit by lockdowns and restrictions,” said Karl Chessell, business unit director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM. “While consumers are eager to get back to hospitality, it is clearly going to be a long and uneven road to recovery, and the sector will need sustained support from government if it is to help reignite the UK economy over the rest of 2021.” Mark Sheehan, managing director, Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “These like-for-likes are testimony to the creativity of hospitality. The support of consumers across the country shows appreciation of the sector generally and operators individually. Undoubtedly, there has been pent-up demand and it will take some time for businesses to understand where trade levels really are.”


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