The number of people attending restaurants was 27.5% lower than pre-pandemic levels in May, up from 32.7% lower in April.

However wet weather dampened the boost throughout May, with customer visits falling throughout the month, starting at 25.3% below pre-pandemic levels and ending at 26.8% lower.

Wet weather and reduced capacity in restaurants meant that fewer people than expected ventured out to the high street after the ban on indoor dining was lifted on May 17, according to Springboard.

“Footfall has strengthened significantly over the period since non-essential retail reopened in April. However, further gains that were hoped for in May as a result of the reopening of indoor hospitality in the third week of the month have been muted,” the data company reported.

“May was the wettest on record, which inevitably lowered the initial exhilaration of consumers in being able to eat out, as even visiting indoor environments necessitated braving the weather. Secondly, the limitations on dining capacity in indoor venues inevitably means that the uplift in footfall generated has been limited.”

Footfall in central London increased by 17.2% in May and by 20.4% in regional cities.

Across all high streets in Britain, footfall rose by 7.1%, but in smaller high streets it fell by 0.7% during the month.

Springboard added: “The question is whether the shift of footfall back into London and other regional cities will continue. This will be strongly dependent on whether the government’s ‘roadmap’ for the easing of restrictions will proceed as planned or whether easing will be deferred beyond June 21.”