Sales of bars have fallen by 63%, restaurants by 60% and pubs by 45%, according to the business tracker Coffer Peach, which brings together the figures of 49 companies owned and managed by the group which manage more than 7,500 sites.
“The numbers reflect the fact that the reopening of the sites has been gradual and not all are back in business at all,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the consulting firm that produces the data with the Coffer Group and the RSM auditors.
“Plus, those that are open are generally trading at levels well below normal. They also paint a mixed picture, with pubs tending to open more strongly than restaurants, and London, which was hit earlier, is still struggling to gain traction.
Trade in London fell 58% in July, compared to an average of 48.5% for companies operating outside the M25 orbital route.
The numbers show that the restaurant industry has been hit the hardest. Only 36% of those that traded in February before the pandemic were reopened by the end of July. Pubs bounced back the fastest with 94% open and 62% bars.
Overall, three of the country’s four pubs, bars and restaurants are back in business.
“Even before the lockdown, the casual dining boom was at a standstill and a number of groups were closing locations and restructuring,” Chessell said. “The Covid crisis appears to have accelerated this trend, and it is not known how many of these restaurants belonging to the group will eventually reopen, certainly under current ownership.”
The public’s continued reluctance to revert to their old dining habits has fueled a boom in door-to-door deliveries, which have more than doubled in popularity since the start of the pandemic. They represented 13.1% of sales by occasional diners in July, compared to 7.4% in March and 5.9% in February.
Takeout group Just Eat on Wednesday announced a 44% increase in revenue for the first half of the year, with profits up 133% to 177 million euros (£ 160 million). The company managed a 36% increase in orders to 257 million.
The CGA’s research predates the launch of the government Eat Out to Help Out program, which offers 50% discounts on food and soft drinks, Monday through Wednesday in August, subject to a maximum of £ 10. The program was well received by all companies for boosting trade.