Drinks sales outperform food on first day of outdoor trading

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Increased demand: when compared to 12 April 2019, overall like-for-like sales in the on-trade were up by more than half (image: Getty/Wavebreakmedia)
Increased demand: when compared to 12 April 2019, overall like-for-like sales in the on-trade were up by more than half (image: Getty/Wavebreakmedia)

Related tags: Cga, Beer, Spirits, Cider, Food

Pubs with outside areas that were permitted to trade on Monday 12 April saw drinks sales up on 2019 figures.

According to the CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker April 2021​, which covered 1,687 outlets, like-for-like drinks sales were up by 113.8% on the equivalent day in 2019 while food sales were down by 11.7%.

This meant total like-for-like sales increased by more than half (58.6%) when compared to 12 April two years ago.

Fairly solid performance

CGA managing director for UK and Ireland Jonny Jones said: “The first day of trading after England’s lockdown showed a fairly solid performance and demonstrates how consumers were keen to enjoy their first drink out – with like-for-like drinks sales up nearly 115% for outlets that were open compared with the equivalent day in 2019.

“Food sales didn’t fare quite so well at 12% below 2019 levels but this is understandable given operators can only trade outside.”

Meanwhile, nightlife and discovery platform DesignMyNight alongside booking and enquiry management firm Access Collins revealed four bookings were made every second on Monday 12 April.

DesignMyNight had more than 1,500 users on its site each second on the day pubs were allowed to reopen for outside trading only and recorded a rise of 1,021% in searches for outdoor areas compared to one month before (Friday 12 March – two and a half weeks after the Prime Minister announce the reopening plan).

High demand

Young's sales and event manager Sarah Groves said: “Pubs with large outside spaces and gardens were in high demand after the roadmap announcement on the Monday 22 February with many south west London pub gardens booking up with 24 hours for the first weekend.”

An example of a Young's pub, which saw a rise in bookings was the Ship in Wandsworth, south London would usually have about 50 to 70 covers booked however, on Monday 12 April, there was 687.

This was similar to sister pub the Leather Bottle in Earlsfield also south London, which secured 637 covers. This weekend is also booked for both pubs with 807 secured at the Ship and 902 at the Leather Bottle.

Related topics: Beer

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