After three months of lockdown, pubs in England hit record sales of beer, wine, and sparkling wine, which were 113% higher on 12 April than on the same day in 2019, the last comparable date before the pandemic took hold.
Despite being limited to trading outdoors – just under 40% of premises in Britain have outdoor spaces – this marks a good start for the hospitality sector, according to food and drink insight company CGA.
“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. Drink sales were up nearly 115% for outlets that were open compared with the equivalent day in 2019,” said Jonny Jones, CGA’s Managing Director for UK & Ireland.
These figures are especially remarkable as temperatures in England are still low, especially in the evening, however, they only cover a small portion of venues open in the country.
However, food sales didn’t fare as well and dropped almost 12% below 2019 levels, but Jones explained this was expected as operators can currently only trade outside.
In England, pubs, bars, and restaurants are expected to be allowed to serve customers indoors from 17 May as part of the “pathway to freedom,” which was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in March.