Pub spending fails to lift gloom over locals

People in South Tyneside shelled out more money in the pub when they were allowed back indoors – but limits on social contact mean spending is still below pre-pandemic levels, according to new figures.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 2:57 pm
Pub takings gloom

Banking firm Revolut analysed the data of its 7,000 customers in South Tyneside between May 17 – when indoor hospitality resumed – and June 13.

It found people spent 97% more in pubs over this period than they did in the previous month – when only outdoor hospitality was allowed.

But spending was still 59% below the level recorded in February 2020, before the pandemic struck.

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Nationally spending in the month since pubs reopened for indoor service was still 58% lower than in February last year.

Hospitality and pub industry leaders have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding support for their sector following the delay to the planned lifting of all restrictions on June 21.

Sector leaders including the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the Campaign for Real Ale say they are “bitterly disappointed” by the delay, which they estimate will cost pubs £400m alone.

A joint spokesman said: “Our sector is facing one of its toughest periods in its history and this latest delay is yet another setback. Many pubs cannot break even under current restrictions and around 2,300 still remain closed

“It is now absolutely critical that the Government provides our sector with further support."

Revolut figures also show that spending in restaurants in South Tyneside is still 52% below the pre-pandemic baseline.