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On-trade sales soar 25% as Britain reopens

Britain’s on-trade has come roaring back to life, with sales up by a quarter compared to pre-Covid numbers as venues reopened indoors on Monday 17 May.

Cocktail drinking
Monday’s reopening marked the first time British consumers could drink and dine indoors in 2021

According to market researcher CGA, average sales of reopened bars, restaurants and pubs on the first day of indoor trading were 24.9% higher than on the same day in 2019.

Drink sales were up 21.2% from before the pandemic, while food sales grew by 29.6%.

Following the return of outdoor service on 12 April, Monday’s indoor reopening was the first time British consumers could drink and dine inside since December 2020. CGA previously reported that only one third of venues reopened for outdoor dining last month, meaning that the majority did not get back to business until this week.

The new data “was a sign of how much Britain’s hospitality industry has been missed”, said Jonny Jones, CGA’s managing director for UK and Ireland.

Meanwhile, trade body UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls urged the government to take measures to help the on-trade continue its promising return.

“As we’ve seen previously, we often see a reopening bounce in sales, followed by a dip, so we hope these positive figures continue in the coming weeks,” she said.

“It is critical that government restores consumer confidence in hospitality and restores our ability to trade profitably by removing all restrictions on June 21st as planned – let’s not forget that all of these businesses which are open are still making a loss until they do.”






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