Restaurant sales were up 50% between Monday-Wednesday in the opening week of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, compared to the previous week.

Pubs saw a 26% boost and quick service operators were up 22%, according to research by software provider Fourth.

There was no drop off in trade between Thursday and Sunday, when compared with the week prior, indicating the initiative is not cannibalising weekend trade.

The insight reveals a slight drop off in sales for the second week of the initiative, with sales down collectively 13% between Monday-Wednesday (10-12 August), when compared with the opening week.

QSR experienced a 30% decrease in sales, pubs and bars a 20% fall, and restaurant sales were down 6%.

However, the second week of EOHO still resulted in a significant uplift compared to the week before the initiative started, with sales up 30% across the three sectors.

The data suggests the majority of companies have been reporting EOHO sales figures inclusive of the discount, so are understating their sales performance, and will lead to a further increase in these figures once added in.

The spike in demand has led to an increase in the hours worked by employees in the industry, which in pubs accounting for a 13% increase, restaurants 33%, and QSR 15%.

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. The good weather has also encouraged consumers to return to hospitality venues, and has allowed businesses to extend capacity with outdoor areas, with the pub sector reaping the rewards.

“With uncertainty around consumer demand in the first week of the initiative, and some employees still furloughed, operators were understandably cautious with managing their staffing levels. However, following the positive spike in trading during the first week, there has been an increase in the number of hours scheduled in the industry, which in turn will have a positive impact on the overall customer experience, which is crucial to ensuring the initiative generates a sustained positive impact for the industry.”

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