Drinkers downed 15million fewer pints in run-up to Christmas as city centre pubs lost out on £9,300 beer and cider sales each in Omicron panic

  • Average pub lost an estimated £4,300 in beer and cider sales alone in the period
  • It was even worse in city centres as that number was over doubled to £9,300 
  • According to experts, figures reached 2019 levels prior to Omicron’s impact on the industry.

According to new data, pubs in Britain sold 15% less beer during 2021’s last two weeks than the same period the year prior.

As drinkers stayed at home over Christmas and New Year the average pub lost around £4,300 in sales of beer and cider alone during what would normall`y have been a bumper time for takings.

Things were even worse in the city centres with pubs losing £9,297.29. 

The figures, from analysts The Oxford Partnership, showed pubs in London lost out by up to £11,000 as office workers cancelled end of year parties and drinks evenings. 

This sobering map shows how much average pubs have lost over the festive fortnight

This shocking map shows how much pubs have suffered over the last festive week

There were grim numbers for a loss of sales depending on where the pubs were located

The location of the pubs affected how much sales were lost.

Experts have said pubs had reached 2019 levels before Omicron hit customer confidence

According to experts, pubs were at their best in 2019 before Omicron shook customer confidence

Another statistic that was just released suggests the fear of the omicron in other venues such as hotels and restaurants is worse.

Their office party cancellations and group reservations for food and lodging were a perfect storm.

Although the Oxford Partnership numbers only include beer sales and pubs, UKHospitality (UKH), a trade association, revealed that Christmas Day tooks dropped by 60% over the year 2019.

As drinkers stayed at home over Christmas and New Year the average pub lost around £4,300 in sales

As drinkers stayed at home over Christmas and New Year the average pub lost around £4,300 in sales

Restaurant Omi-woes

Tasty Restaurant Group stated that December trading has been ‘considerably less’ due to Omicron.

Investors were told by the London-listed company that Wildwood, the chain of restaurants in London, had suffered a ‘disappointing month’.

This highlighted how rising prices of Omicron Covid-19 as well as ‘particularly the reinstatement working from home advice by UK Government’ had significant effects on customer numbers.

According to the company, the guidance had “specifically deterred larger Christmas bookings”, which it had hoped to witness after a period with positive momentum.

It stated in a statement that trading during the peak trading period of December was significantly weaker than expected.

“The company has confirmed that the restaurants it operates have remained open so far with very few Covid-19-related interruptions. Currently, they trade from fifty restaurants of an overall total of 54.

Four restaurants that were closed because of poor trade conditions and labor shortages in their respective areas are scheduled to reopen in the latter part of this year.

In the week leading up to Christmas, traditionally one of the busiest times of the year, the average pub, restaurant and bar saw takings fall by £10,335 compared to the same period in 2019. 

Kate Nicholls (UKH chief executive) stated that sales were down to 98% before the release of the omicron-based variant.

She stated that the ‘Hospitality business has been hard hit during a crucial trading period, after not being able to take advantage of Christmas and New Year sales.

She asked the government not to place any restrictions on exports and to allow them to be lifted as soon as possible.

Not only is it bad for pub owners or big-name chains, but also for the publicans.

Hospitality creates £130 billion towards the economy as a whole, represents 10 per cent of UK employers, five per cent of GDP and generates £39 billion a year in tax, added the UKH report.

Nicholls stated that additional restrictions or tougher measures in Scotland or Wales should be considered.

Oxford Partnership’s chief executive Alison Jordan said: “The industry is warning of another round of venue cancellations in New Year. The early December uncertainty between the government restrictions and Omicron impact on venues has taken its toll.

“We’ve seen the industry innovate, solve and provide unrivalled customer service to make sure safety.

“Consumers remain cautious because they don’t have a good understanding of the measures.”