Just a quarter of licensed venues reopened for outdoor trading

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality industry: the pub sector fared better than the restaurant sector in the number of venues reopening for outdoor trading last week (image: Getty/millann)
Hospitality industry: the pub sector fared better than the restaurant sector in the number of venues reopening for outdoor trading last week (image: Getty/millann)

Related tags: Legislation, Cga, reopening, England

Around 23.2% of England’s 89,963 licensed premises were trading by Thursday 15 April, figures have found.

According to the Market Recovery Monitor ​from CGA and AlixPartners, reopenings in the pub sector were more widespread than restaurants.

Almost four-in-10 (39.1%) of England’s food pubs reopened as well as nearly a third (31.6%) of community pubs and 29.9% of high street pubs.

However for the restaurant sector, just 11.8% sites in the independent-led segment have reopened while almost a quarter (23.5%) of casual dining restaurants are trading again.

Welcome first step

When broken down into regions of the country, the central and east areas saw the highest level of reopenings with 24.4% whereas the north saw the lowest at 21.8%.

CGA business unit director of hospitality operators and food EMEA Karl Chessell said: “The return of outdoor service is a welcome first step on the road to recovery for England’s hospitality sector and for pubs in particular.

“Venues that have been able to reopen have worked hard to give people the eating and drinking out experiences they have missed for so long but they remain subject to major operational constraints and the unpredictability of the British spring weather.

“Three in four venues in England remain closed and while some may open over the next few weeks, we will have to wait another four weeks until it is feasible for many hospitality venues to reopen again."

Challenges remain

Chessell added: “Until then, operators deserve support from local authorities to make the most of outdoor trading space – not to mention some sunshine.”

AlixPartners managing director Graeme Smith highlighted the importance of the Government sticking to its roadmap with indoor hospitality set to reopen on Monday 17 May.

“While reports of strong consumer demand this week are welcome an while operators are driving sales where possible through use of their outside spaces, the stark reality is this trading represents a small proportion of normal revenues and most will be making a loss," he said.

“Many challenges remain during this reopening phase and the months ahead.”

Related topics: Legislation

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