Restaurant and pub groups have seen a steady improvement in footfall since reopening, however like-for-like sales remain almost 30% below pre-Covid levels.
In the weeks since 4 July the like-for-like sales deficit has steadily improved from 40% below normal levels in the first week of opening to 29% in the week beginning 20 July, according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker. The latter improvement was seen despite much of the country seeing rain and grey skies last weekend.
The week-on-week improvement across the eating-out market was at 37%, helped in part by Scotland's reopening. The tracker reports that the approximately 68% of group-owned sites opened their doors for the week's trading, compared to 60% the previous week.
Karl Chessell, director of CGA, said: "Trading at just over 70% of pre-Covid norms is an improvement on the week before for those businesses operating, but it's more steady than sensational. Operators are still taking it cautiously as demand edges up, and that's been particularly true among restaurant chains."
Restaurant chains have only opened around 29% of sites, compared to 83% of outlets opened by pub groups. Those restaurants that have opened saw year-on-year, like-for-like sales down 22% last week, compared to a 29% fall recorded by pub groups.
Chessell added: "We are still in the early days of recovery, and the data coming back from companies in the tracker cohort tells its own story. What will be interesting to see in the next few weeks will be the impact of the cut in VAT, the Eat Out to Help Out campaign and also the holiday season, now that more people are expected to stay in Britain."