Hospitality venues are already feeling the benefits of being able to reopen indoors, with revenues rising across the sector by 43 per cent since last Monday, as consumers flock to fill the increased capacity.
The value of transactions processed at pubs and bars is up 162 per cent compared to the same period last week, and restaurants are seeing similar growth, with transaction values up 58 per cent.
The picture is even more positive when you focus on face-to-face transactions – in-store revenues are up 171 per cent for pubs and bars, and up 95 per cent for restaurants.
This is according to new data from Barclaycard Payments, which processes almost £1 in every £3 spent in the UK.
The pent-up demand for eating and drinking indoors, especially given the chilly weather seen over much of the past month, has even caused the hospitality sector to rise above pre-pandemic levels, with the total amount spent up 8.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
Even with the increased capacity, the demand for tables is likely to exceed supply: the recent Barclaycard Payments SME Barometer revealed that the majority of hospitality and leisure businesses that take bookings expect that customers will need to book at least five days in advance to secure a reservation this summer.
In preparation, SMEs have invested an average of £5,551 to become Covid-secure for their reopening.
Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “The re-opening of indoor hospitality venues has brought the welcome sound of ringing tills to restaurants, pubs and bars across the country.
“I’m delighted to see that transaction values have even risen above 2019 levels, thanks to our pent-up demand for going out to spend time with friends and family.”