Hospitality venues which reopened in England last week enjoyed a stronger bounce in sales than they did when coming out of the first national lockdown last July, with sales up 45% on a like-for-like basis for the first week of trading, according to the latest data from CGA.

However despite the strong trading seen since reopening on 12 April, like-for-like sales at those venues which reopened last week were still 21% down on the equivalent week in 2019 – although that week did include the Easter weekend.

Drink sales performed particularly strong with takings up 49% last week compared to the reopening week in July 2020, while food sales were up 34%.

Jonny Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK & Ireland, said: “Pent-up demand from consumers to get back out into pubs, bars and restaurants is clear and the first visit fear that many had in July last year is now playing less of a role in their decision to do so.

“However, with less than a quarter of outlets in England accepting guests last week, this demand has been spread over fewer venues which is driving performance for those that have reopened. So, whilst this is a good start for the sector, it’s clear that hospitality’s recovery still has a very long way to go.”