British pubs continued to pull fewer pints in the first week of indoor opening than before the pandemic after Covid restrictions resulted in a 20% drop in trade from levels in ‘before the pandemic.
Pub owners warned that despite welcoming customers inside from May 17 and a boom in table reservations for restaurants and bars, turnover in the first week of reopening was 20% lower than the same week in 2019 due to government and physical restrictions. distancing measures.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), which surveyed publicans representing 7,000 pubs across the country, said government rules to limit the spread of the coronavirus continued to make businesses “no viable “.
Beverage sales initially skyrocketed to nearly double the pre-pandemic when pubs reopened outdoors in April, industry data showed, but the pub industry blamed the distancing measures physical for the discreet response of punters to the reopening of interior spaces.
Under current government rules, pubs are limited to providing table service to limited groups of up to six people and cannot allow punters to drink at the bar or stand up. They are also required to keep people at least three feet apart and ensure that face masks are worn at all times, except outside or while sitting inside.
The BBPA has warned that unless restrictions are removed according to the government’s June 21 schedule, the average pub would have to sell more than 24,672 additional pints over one year to make up for its lost revenue.
The Pub Association’s survey found that in the week of May 17, revenue was 80% of the same period in 2019, despite reopening 95% of UK pubs, or around 45,000 places, in commerce. The association estimates that if trade continues to stay at 80% of normal, the average pub would lose £ 94,000 in sales over one year.
Emma McClarkin, CEO of BBPA, warned that revenue could even drop further if early enthusiasm to return to the local pub starts to wane due to restrictions on coronaviruses.
“When that initial enthusiasm to go back to local cools, business could worsen, leaving pubs unable to break even. The countdown to freedom for our sector on June 21 is on, ”she said.
The pub sector is among a growing number of voices in the UK economy calling on the government to stick to its plan to end Covid-19 restrictions in England on June 21 despite growing concerns that the UK could be on the brink of a third wave of the pandemic.
“Ads are trading at incredibly small margins, so being 20% down from normal times is huge and incredibly concerning,” McClarkin added. “Without restrictions removed, thousands of pubs remain unsustainable and could still be lost forever although they are reopened for the time being.”