Latest consumer data has shown a slight decrease in sales for the second week of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, yet sales are still up by 30% across pubs, restaurants and bars compared with the week before the initiative started.
Figures from software provider Fourth show that sales were down collectively by 13% between Monday-Wednesday (10-12 August) compared with the opening week (3-5 August). Comparing the second week with the first, the QSR (fast food) sector experienced a 30% decrease in sales, pubs and bars a 20% fall, and restaurant sales were down by 6%.
The data, taken from analysis of over 700 companies across the restaurant, pub and bar, and QSR sectors, revealed that sales were up 50% between Monday-Wednesday in the opening week of the initiative when compared to the previous week. Restaurants enjoyed a 70% sales increase across this period, with pubs up 26% and QSR up 22%.
Additionally the data from the entire first week of the initiative does not seem to indicate a drop-off in trade between Thursday and Sunday when compared with the week prior, indicating that customers still chose to eat out as usual during these days, despite the lure of the discount at the beginning of the week.
Sebastien Sepierre, managing director EMEA at Fourth, said: "The government's Eat Out to Help Out initiative has had a significant impact in driving footfall to hospitality venues between Monday to Wednesday.
"Reinstating consumer confidence in the safety of eating and drinking out of home is paramount to getting the industry back on its feet and on track to achieving pre-Covid operating levels."
It is believed that the sales figures from the scheme may increase further as the majority of companies surveyed reported sales inclusive of the discount. The spell of good weather at the beginning of August is also believed to have played a part in encouraging diners to eat out, particularly at pubs with outdoor extended outdoor areas.
Data has also shown an increase of up to 33% in the hours worked by restaurant employees in the first week of the scheme, compared with the previous week, also attributed to popularity of the scheme. Total hours worked by pub and QSR employees rose by 13% and 15% respectively.
UKHospitality estimated that 93% of eligible businesses had signed up and 3.3 million people accessed the government's restaurant finder ahead of the scheme's launch on 3 August.