In numbers: what impact has the Covid-19 pandemic had on pubs and their customers so far?

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pub numbers: what impact has the novel coronavirus pandemic had on the pub sector and its customers so far?
Pub numbers: what impact has the novel coronavirus pandemic had on the pub sector and its customers so far?

Related tags: Pub, Coronavirus

With almost half of England’s pubs and bars reopening over the ‘Super Saturday’ 4 July weekend, The Morning Advertiser has run some numbers on the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on the sector so far.

105 days​ – After Prime Minister Boris Johnson called last orders in pubs on Friday 20 March, 105 days, 15 weeks or 28.69% of 2020 elapsed before pubs were allowed to reopen on 4 July.

70m​ - More than 15 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of beer - or 70m pints​ - were poured away during coronavirus closure according to British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) estimates based on each of the UK’s 47,000 pubs having an average number of 10 beer taps.

More than 300%​ - The Licensed Trade Charity​ saw requests for practical advice, emotional support and financial grants increase by more than 300% during March 2020 versus the previous year.

£1.33bn​ - According to figures from real estate advisor Altus Group, pubs and restaurants in England have received a business rates holiday worth £1.33bn for the financial year 2020/21.

50%​ - A survey of tenants by the Forum of British Pubs found that half (50%) of landlords deferred pub rents until sites resumed trading post-lockdown. 

83%​ - More than four in every five (83%) hospitality operators furloughed at least 90% of their staff during the novel coronavirus crisis, with 96% of sites putting more than 70% of workers on the coronavirus job retention scheme according to CGA’s Business Confidence Survey

£822m​ - According to Altus Group, one off cash grants for hospitality venues with a rateable value less than £51,000 have cost the Government £882m. 

One-in-three​ - The latest CGA Business Confidence Survey​ revealed that just 36% of hospitality business leaders are predicting life after lockdown for all of their venues. 

2,318,485,149​ - Based on the BBPA calculating that more than eight billion (8,059,495,997) pints were sold in pubs during 2019 – on average 255 per second – the UK on-trade would have poured 2,318,485,149 pints had pubs replicated 2019 trading during the 15 weeks they spent closed.

More than £8.5bn​ - Using the Office for National Statistics’ average price of a pint - £3.67 in May 2019 - UK pubs would have collectively generated around £8,508,840,496 from draught beer sales alone had they traded through the enforced closure period at the same rate as seen in 2019. 

68%​ - A survey by the Forum of British Pubs​ found that more than two thirds of tenants did not think they would survive longer than 15 weeks of lockdown. 

#1​ - According to global intelligence platform Streetbees, Brits have increased their drinking more than any other country since the start of the pandemic with 68% drinking more and only 24% drinking less. The United States and Germany saw the joint second highest increase, with 61% drinking more.

£3,000​ - Almost a quarter (24%) of pubs expected to pay up to £3,000​ to ensure staff and customer safety once pubs are allowed to reopen according to a Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA Insight/HIM. 

8%​ - Ahead of the first weekend of post-lockdown trading, Streetbees found that 8% of Brits said they would be happy going on a date with a stranger despite the ongoing pandemic and social distancing measures in pubs and bars.  

45%​ - CGA's Outlet Index found that 18,277 of a possible 40,575 pubs and bars in England that could have reopened on the weekend of 4 July did so - equating to 45.04% of sites.

28%​ - Just over a quarter (28%) of UK adults visited a pub or restaurant at the earliest possible opportunity according to KAM Media, with 17% who didn't visit a pub or restaurant over the 4 July weekend intending to do so within a week.

295%​ - Consumer spending in pubs and bars almost trebled week-on-week with a 295% increase during the weekend of 4 and 5 July according to new data from Barclaycard Payments – although this still constituted a 45% year-on-year drop for sector as a whole. 

46%​ - Almost half (46%) of consumers are happy to return to their pre-lockdown social habits, according to KAM Media, while 36% will continue to visit but not to the same extent as pre-lockdown. 

41%​ - on the first weekend of post-lockdown trading, 41% of those aged between 18 and 34 years old claim they have already visited a pub or restaurant according to KAM Media - despite more than half (51%) of Gen Z adults quizzed by Streetbees claiming to have drunk less during lockdown. 

Two-thirds​ - Once social distancing is no longer needed, two-thirds (66%) of Brits are looking forward to meeting new people at public places such as pubs and bars, through dating apps for example, according to Streetbees. 

68%​ - More than two-thirds (68%) of Brits quizzed by Streetbees do not plan to maintain social distancing once it is no longer enforced.

Seven​ - According to Altus Group figures, the number of pubs in England and Wales​ fell by 228 during the first half of 2020 despite their enforced closure – seven fewer than the 235 that closed between 25 December 2018 and 25 June 2019.

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