UK pubs and restaurants are already feeling the benefits of reopening indoors with sales exceeding pre-pandemic levels, new data from Barclaycard Payments reveals.

Barclaycard said pent-up demand for eating and drinking indoors, especially given the chilly weather seen over much of the past month, had helped the hospitality sector to rise above pre-pandemic levels, with the total amount spent up 8.6% compared with the same period in 2019.

It said revenues across the sector were up 43% since Monday. Transaction values processed at pubs and bars rose 162% on the same period last week and 58% at restaurants.

Face-to-face transactions climbed 171% and 95% respectively, according to the findings.

The demand for tables was likely to exceed supply, it said. The latest Barclaycard Payments SME Barometer revealed that the majority of hospitality and leisure businesses that take bookings expect customers will need to book at least five days in advance to secure a reservation this summer.

Rob Cameron, Barclaycard Payments chief executive, said: “The re-opening of indoor hospitality venues has brought the welcome sound of ringing tills to restaurants, pubs and bars across the country.

“I’m delighted to see that transaction values have even risen above 2019 levels, thanks to our pent-up demand for going out to spend time with friends and family.”