Pubs enjoy third week of food sales soaring

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Consumer confidence: new data from CGA shows that food sales have been boosted during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme
Consumer confidence: new data from CGA shows that food sales have been boosted during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Related tags: Food, coronavirus

Managed pubs and group restaurants have enjoyed a third week of food sales increasing following the launch of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

This is according to CGA’s Volume Pool of 7,000 managed outlets and comes after the Treasury reported diners used the scheme to claim more than 10.5m meals in its first seven days.

The scheme can be used all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 August to 31 August and offers a 50% discount - up to a maximum of £10 per person - for sit-in diners. 

On the first day of the initiative food sales were 100% up on the previous Monday (27 July), with increases of 95% and 106% on Tuesday 4 August and Wednesday 5 August respectively, according to CGA.

There was a 31% rise in food sales week-on-week across the seven days to last Sunday (7 August).

Returning customers

CGA’s latest Consumer Pulse survey reveals that the initiative has brought a wave of consumers back to restaurants – more than a quarter (27%) of British adults had used the scheme by Tuesday (11 August). Even more (31%) said they had yet to use it but are likely to do so before the end of August.

Pubgoers indicated the scheme had encouraged them back into hospitality venues, in CGA’s most recent Consumer Pulse survey.

Two in five (39%) of those who have used Eat Out to Help Out said they were making their first hospitality visit since the sector had reopened. A quarter (26%) of consumers who had not returned to venues said they were likely to make use of the scheme before it ends.

There were signs consumer confidence had been boosted by trips in conjunction with the scheme. Half (52%) said their experience made them feel more confident about going out in the near future while 45% said their confidence was unaffected.

The data firm said it was optimistic the scheme would gain further momentum in the second half of the month as trust in the sector returns.

Desired effect

CGA business unit for food and retail director Karl Chessell said: “This data shows the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is having the desired effect of boosting food sales for restaurants, pubs and others at a time when they need it most.” 

He added: “Along with operators’ stringent hygiene precautions, it is encouraging consumers to venture out and see that they can have a safe as well as good value meal out.

“As the scheme goes on it will hopefully begin to have a positive impact on footfall on other days of the week too – though it is already clear the sector will need sustained support from Government after the scheme ends at the end of the month.”

One multi-site operator that has attributed the scheme with booming sales is Brewhouse & Kitchen.

Kris Gumbrell, chief executive of the group described Eat Out to Help Out as the “icing on the cake for our business,” after it reported its sales more than doubled during the first six days of the scheme. 

HMRC said it had received 10,540,394 claims under the Government scheme, as of Sunday 9 August.

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