(Bloomberg) --

U.K. party venue Revolution Bars Group Plc is counting on the office party making a comeback after Covid restrictions in the run-up to Christmas caused work gatherings to dip.

The bar chain said pre-booked revenue -- an indicator of corporate Christmas parties --- fell 39% for the six-week period to Jan. 1, compared with the 2019/2020 period, in its half-year trading update on Thursday. The total number of bookings over the same six-week period was up 19%, “highlighting that our young guest base were still keen to go out and enjoy themselves,” it said.

In a sign of rebounding consumer confidence, many of the corporate parties have already been rebooked for early in 2022. And bookings were still “significantly higher” earlier in December before the omicron variant “and negative government messaging” took hold, the company said.

Revolution Bars added its name to the list of hospitality providers criticizing government policies during the festive season, saying it perceived the response to omicron as “overly cautious,” prompting “a substantial loss of trade.” The anger in the industry is all the more palpable amid reports of parties at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10 Downing Street base at the height of government-imposed lockdowns.

Pub group JD Wetherspoon Plc on Wednesday criticized the Johnson administration and said his staff should have been allowed to go to the pub instead.

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