Pubs & Restaurants Face Hardest Hit From Latest Lockdown

Britain’s battered pub and restaurant sector is staring at its worst period of the pandemic as footfall flatlines for more than a month.

UK Pubs, Bars & Restaurants Footfall
© Huq Industries 2021

The Huq Index for Restaurants & Pubs fell sharply post December 10th, and has stood at 5pts since January 9th – down 4.6pts in the last 30 days and little discernible movement in the last seven. Of the three constituent sectors, Pubs, Restaurants and QSR, Pubs have been the worst affected – reading less than 1pt over the equivalent period. These figures may also reflect how the Government banned pubs from selling takeaway drinks as part of the third national lockdown.

The beginning of the year is often a quiet time for eateries as customers count the cost of the festive season and the New Year celebrations. But this year has been particularly bad and threatens to overtake the first lockdown for loss of earnings and footfall.

© Huq Industries 2021

High frequency data from Huq Industries shows that visits to pubs and restaurants have been close to zero for the whole month of January. Figures for the winter lockdown are looking even worse than they did in the first lockdown in Spring and much worse than the second lockdown in late autumn.

In Spring, the index hugged the floor for almost seven weeks. The same trend has now endured for more than six weeks, and with no hard timeline for re-opening the hospitality industries, time will reveal the severe impact. The sector has already seen thousands of jobs go at the likes of Wetherspoons, Café Rouge, Costa Coffee, Zizzi, Gourmet Burger King, Whitbread, and the brewer and pub chain owner Greene King.

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