Last week, Booked it reported that drink sales had soared upon outdoor hospitality venues reopening on the 12th April. Jonny Jones, the managing director of CGA UK & Ireland, commented: “The first day of trading after England’s lockdown showed a fairly solid performance and demonstrates how consumers were keen to enjoy their first drink out”.
This upward trend has only continued over the past week (12th April – 19th April). The newly available data from CGA illustrates this. According to CGA, trading over the last seven days was 45% higher than the week beginning on “Super Saturday”, the 4th July 2020. This is a vital statistic considering both indoor and outdoor hospitality venues were able to operate in the week beginning 4th July in 2020.
Sales in comparison with the same period in 2019 were slightly more equivocal, however. Statistics show that like-for-like sales were down by 21%. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that in 2019 this period covered the Easter weekend. Therefore, it is unfair and misleading to make comparisons when hospitality venues were not allowed this year by law to operate over the Easter weekend.
A more productive comparison might be to contrast the past week (12th – 19th April) with the period before the Easter weekend in 2019. In this regard, recent data holds its own, with like-for-like sales 1% higher.
Because this new data from CGA includes the weekend succeeding the 12th, it is a great indicator of the likely trajectory we will see in hospitality over the coming weeks. More people are likely to frequent venues at the weekend in comparison to a Monday – even when pubs, bars, and restaurants, have been closed for months.
This data is important for the industry and the government in discussions about how and when indoor hospitality should reopen in May and beyond. Although the date has been contested by leading industry professionals, indoor hospitality is still set to resume from the 17th May.
Words by Rebecca Clayton