Sales slumped in September after the combination of the withdrawal of EOHO and the introduction of the 10pm curfew, according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Wet-led pubs were hit hardest, with sales down 22.7% and like-for-likes down 21.1%.

Restaurant groups suffered a sales slump of 19.6%, but like-for-likes were down just 6.7% below September 2019, thanks to 72% of group-owned restaurant sites trading during the month.

Bar groups, which had 79% of their sites trading, had the worst of the month, with like-for-like sales down 37.1% and total sales down 42.7%.

Delivery accounted for 10.4% of sales, up from 8.8% in August and the pre-lockdown level of 5.9% in February.

At the end of September, underlying annual like-for-like sales for the whole market were down 23.9% on the previous 12 months, with total sales down 35.3%.

Regionally, the negative impact on London by the drop in footfall was revealed by the stats, with total sales across managed pubs, bars and restaurants inside the M25 were down a hefty 32.1% on September last year, with collective like-for-like sales in those sites open down 24.2%. In contrast, outside the M25 the market saw like-for-like sales down 12.3% and total sales down 16.7%.

“The situation is looking increasingly challenging for drink-focused operations – and in September all parts of the market were in negative territory,” said Across the managed pub market as a whole, food sales were down 9% over the month, while drink sales were down 21.9% on last September,” said CGA director Karl Chessell.

Trevor Watson, executive director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “The recent EOTHO scheme, followed by the curfew and now the increasingly prevalent local lockdown restrictions, means there are clearly no significant conclusions to be drawn from short-term trading trends.

!The latest announcement that London is to join Manchester and enter Tier 2 is catastrophic. It is difficult to see how many restaurants and pubs in these city centre locations will be able to stay open.

”Neighbourhood areas will also suffer but not to the same extent. A ‘Tier 3’ status with increased government support would be preferable for such businesses.”