Analysis from S4labour shows that hospitality like for like sales in August were flat, down just 0.4% compared to the same month last year. The Eat Out To Help Out scheme had the desired effect with those sites that were trading showing like for like growth in food sales of 22.2%, while drinks sales were in decline of 16.2%. The offer of a government supported meal helped to increase consumer confidence and has provided the lifeline that hospitality required. In July we saw like for likes down 30% and at this level many hospitality businesses would have been making a loss.
Outside of London performed better than London, with 4% growth compared to 19.5% decline. This is a reflection of the impact of people still working from home and it is likely that all urban areas that rely on a population of people working in nearby offices will be suffering. We are starting to see more organisations bring people back to their offices but this will take time and is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Richard Hartley commented “EOTHO clearly did a job in restoring consumer confidence. There were some great sales and this suggests that the message has got through to consumers that the hospitality sector is very much open and very much safe”