Leading restaurant and pub groups recorded a fourfold increase in delivery and takeaway sales in April from pre-Covid-19 levels, CGA's latest Hospitality at Home Tracker reveals.
Combined delivery and takeaway sales were 345% higher than in April 2019 when the sector was fully open for eating out. Sales grew by 11% from March 2021, despite the reopening of restaurants, pubs and bars for outside service in England from mid-April. Month-on-month growth in takeaway sales was notably higher than in deliveries.
The figures from the Tracker suggested that deliveries, takeaways and at-home meal kits, which have all soared in popularity during the lockdowns of the past 14 months, are likely to remain a major part of consumers' habits well beyond the full reopening of hospitality.
"Surging delivery and takeaway sales have been a major side-effect of Covid-19 lockdowns and a lifeline for many operators in the first few months of 2021," said Karl Chessell, CGA's business unit director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA.
"As restaurants, pubs and bars reopen, the way consumers balance ordering in and eating out will be a major dynamic in sales and marketing strategies and a significant factor in profit margins."