Pubs and restaurants see surge in bookings on first day of indoor service after months of closures


Pubs and restaurants in the UK have seen a surge in bookings on the first day the governments of England, Scotland and Wales allowed indoor service.

According to online bookings service The Fork, Monday night recorded 12% more table bookings than on any date since July 2020.

READ: Pubs and restaurants recovery faces another hurdle as UK may postpone end of lockdown after 21 June

The platform had 88% of restaurants on its system in operation, compared to only 47% on 12 April when hospitality could only offer outdoor service.

Only 33% of venues have traded over the past month, according to the latest Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners, with just over 35,000 sites accommodating customers in gardens or patios.

However, visitors to town centres and shopping malls dropped 3% compared to last week due to bad weather.

Trade body the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) expected 45,000 pubs to open their doors on Monday and serve 3mln pints.

It added that 2,000 pubs, 5% of the total, that rely heavily on people standing up when drinking will not be able to open and even if 3mln pints are sold that will still be 65% lower than an average Monday pre-the pandemic.

A report from finance group Company Debt suggested that it will need everyone in Britain to drink 124 pints or 122 glasses of wine to help the sector recover the GBP25.6bn the industry has lost so far to the pandemic.

Alternatively, people (or non-drinkers) could eat 976 packets of crisps or have 40 roast meals each.

The sector is looking forward to the end of lockdown as trading with social distancing in place is hampering profits, with many struggling to break even.

Concerns are mounting after Downing Street said it would postpone a review of the situation scheduled for the end of the month, when it would have confirmed whether to drop all restrictions on 21 June.


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