Pubs, bars and restaurants experienced a significant like-for-like drop in drink sales in the week leading up to the May bank holiday – down by 38% on the equivalent week in 2019, according to the latest data from CGA’s Drinks Recovery Tracker.

While operators had experienced a strong start to trading since venues were allowed to reopen for outdoor trading last month, the week to 1 May 2021 saw sales of beer down 34%, wine down 31% and soft drinks down 56%.

Overall drinks sales for the week were down 21% on the previous seven days.

Drinks sales on Sunday 2 May were down 35% on the previous Sunday, while Bank Holiday Monday saw them down 66%. Pubs continued to outperform restaurants due to the greater availability of outdoor space, noted CGA.

“The success of outside trading was always going to be very reliant on the British spring weather. While consumers remain eager to eat and drink out, the climate is making it very hard for many to do so at the moment,” said Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK and Ireland.

“Hospitality has worked very hard and creatively to make outdoor service work, but it won’t be able to properly reboot until venues can welcome guests inside from 17 May—and until then all we can do is hope for some brighter weather.”