Hospitality businesses faced a sales dip in September without the Government’s eating out incentive scheme which bolstered August sales.
Sales at pubs and bars also felt the sting of a 10pm curfew – introduced 24 September – according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, produced by CGA, The Coffer Group and RSM.
Drinking holes struggled the most with total sales down 22.7% and like-for-likes down 21.1% on the same month in 2019.
Total sales across the whole managed sector were 20.3% down on the same month last year, compared to being down by 12.2% in August.
Pubs were handed even harsher restrictions this month (October), with the introduction of a new tiered system of local measures limiting trading opportunities even further.
The data came from 52 companies, with 9,373 sites open for business between them.
CGA director Karl Chessell said: “September figures show the massive importance the Eat Out to Help Out initiative had on both sales and consumers’ willingness to go out during August.
"They also demonstrate how far the market needs to go to recover to pre-Covid levels – with the new catalogue of restrictions biting nationally and locally making that task even tougher.”
Regionally, London still struggled during September, with many office workers, commuters, tourists and international business travellers still staying away.
The capital faced a tough trading picture during September, with total sales across managed pubs, bars and restaurants down a 32.1% on September last year.
Collective like-for-like sales in the capital were down 24.2% while outside the M25 like-for-likes were down 12.3%.
Fuller’s boss Simon Emeny told The Morning Advertiser he was optimistic the city would bounce back despite the challenges faced by office workers continuing to work from home.
Food-led pubs and pub restaurants saw collective like-for-likes down 10.9% on last September and total sales down 11.9%.
Bar groups experienced like-for-like sales down 37.1% and total sales down 42.7%, with groups reporting just 79% of their sites trading.
For managed pub groups as a whole, total sales were down 17.7% and like-for-likes down 16.4%.
Across the managed pub market as a whole, food sales were down 9% over the month, while drink sales were down 21.9% on last September.
Chessell added: “While food sales will become an increasingly important in keeping the managed sector afloat, with table-service and the 10pm curfew in force across England and tougher restrictions in other parts of Britain, the situation is looking increasingly challenging for drink-focussed operations and in September all parts of the market were in negative territory.”
Some 750,000 hospitality roles will be lost by February 2021 without further Government support, a survey of UKHospitality (UKH), British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) members has found.