Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered all pubs to close on Friday 20 March and not open again until further notice.
Coffer Peach Business Tracker showed that like-for-like trading across managed pubs was down 67% while its analysis distinguished that bars, as a different category, bore the brunt of people taking up social distancing with a drop of 88%.
CGA – which produces the tracker, in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM – said bars usually benefit more from weekend business, hence the massive drop.
CGA group chief executive Phil Tate said: “Many pubs and restaurants, especially away from London, had stayed open even with dwindling trade after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s warning at the start of the week for people to avoid going out. The closure order on Friday obviously then killed all business overnight.”
Shut up shop
He added: “It was pretty clear that more and more businesses would have shut up shop anyway even without the closure and then lockdown orders, as CGA’s snap consumer poll showed more and more of the public were going to give up on even attempting to go out.”
The findings were based on performance data from 57 operating groups that, between them, operate 10,000 hospitality sites.
CGA will begin to track the sales of pubs and restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services next week.
The Morning Advertiser outlined how to best operate this kind of provision last week.