Produced by CGA in association with The Coffer Group and RSM, the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker has revealed that total sales across the hospitality sector during the week commencing 20 July were up by 36.8% versus the previous seven days – helped in part by pubs and bars in Scotland re-opening.
It found that while collective like-for-like sales in reopened sites were still 28.5% down on the same week last year, trading had improved from the 31.6% deficit registered the week before, and the minus 39.8% recorded in the first week after lockdown was lifted in England on 4 July.
“Trading at just over 70% of pre-Covid norms is an improvement on the week before for those businesses operating, but it’s more steady than sensational,” Karl Chessell, director of CGA, said of the latest figures.
“Operators are still taking it cautiously as demand edges up, and that’s been particularly true among restaurant chains.”
Still early days
The latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker also revealed that 68% of group-operated sites were now open for eating and drinking inside, up from 60% the week before.
It revealed that pub groups – which have generally been found to be more ambitious in their reopening strategies than counterparts in the restaurant sector – had 83% of sites open during the week commencing 20 July compared to 74% the week before.
Additionally, pubs that were open recorded collective sales down 29% versus the same week in 2019, compared to a deficit of 32.4% the week before.
Bars, however, appear to be having a tougher time than both pubs and restaurants post-lockdown, with sales down 45.7% compared to 41.3% down the week before despite the percentage of group-run bars open rising from 44% to 51% during the same seven-day period.
“We are still in the early days of recovery, and the data coming back from companies in the Tracker cohort tells its own story,” Chessell added.
“What will be interesting to see in the next few weeks will be the impact of the cut in VAT, the Eat Out to Help Out campaign and also the holiday season, now that more people are expected to stay in Britain.”