Pubs, restaurants and bars which reopened on Monday have said their sales were more than double the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic struck, according to new figures.
Hospitality data specialists at CGA said that like-for-like drink sales jumped by 113.8 per cent on the first day of outdoor trading, compared with the same day in 2019.
Hospitality firms in England welcomed customers again on Monday after at least three months of closure due to the latest set of lockdown measures.
However, only 38.2 per cent of venues, around 41,100 licensed premises in total, had the outdoor space to enable them to reopen this week.
Venues will be able to reopen for indoor trading from 17 May, in the third phase of the government’s road map.
On Monday, total like-for-like sales were almost 60 per cent above the same level two years ago, as strong drink sales were partly offset by weaker demand for outdoor dining during the cold weather.
Jonny Jones, CGA’s MD for UK & Ireland, 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 per cent for outlets that were open compared with the equivalent day in 2019.
“Food sales didn’t fare quite so well, at 12 per cent below 2019 levels, but this is understandable given that operators can currently only trade outside.”