Indoor reopening: restaurants in England see sales soar 36% above 2019 levels on Saturday

It’s been a big week in the UK restaurant industry: restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales were allowed to allow customers to eat inside their premises for the first time this year. With restaurants completely booked out weeks in advance, it was clear that people were extremely keen to get back under restaurants’ roofs after a month of outdoor dining in practically arctic weather.

But did these mountains of bookings translate to sales? The simple answer is yes. Sales for the entire week rose 5% over 2019 levels - a first since the beginning of the pandemic.

Change in weekly restaurant sales in 2021 vs 2019 from the beginning of the year

Change in weekly sales in 2021 vs 2019 from the beginning of the year

Even better, the weekend saw even higher sales with average like-for-like sales up 13% on Friday and a massive 36% on Saturday. Sunday was down to -2%, though this could be because the comparable Sunday in 2019 was the day before a bank holiday so there was less of a case of the ‘Sunday Scaries’.

Average like-for-like sales 2021 vs 2019 % Change in daily sales in 2021 vs 2019 for the week of the 17-23 May 2021 vs 20-26 May 2019

Interestingly, delivery and takeout still represented 40% of total sales with those who missed out on bookings still wanting to enjoy their local favourites. 40% is lower than the 57% of sales we were seeing while only outdoor was open, but it is still encouraging to see a significant amount of sales coming from digital channels.

Christian Mouysset, CEO of Tenzo commented, 'the recovery compared to 2019 is far higher than we imagined it would be. It's been incredible to see the way businesses have adapted and they'll continue to have to as they juggle pent up demand for eat in as well as the continued demand for delivery.'

We’ll be keeping an eye on average sales over the coming weeks and will continue to share our data findings so sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date!

Cover Photo by Fábio Alves on Unsplash

Posted in Analytics, Tenzo, Restaurant

Elizabeth Norton

Written by Elizabeth Norton