Brits will open their wallets and spend about 210 million pounds (US$259 million) in pubs this weekend as they try to eat and drink their way to rescuing the beleaguered industry.
Pubs will reopen on Saturday in England for the first time since lockdown in March and spending will be more than 70 per cent higher than an average weekend as customers celebrate by knocking back about two pints of lager or glasses of wine more than they normally would, the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates.
Still, the extra spending won’t be enough to help pubs recover profitability - capacity limits and fixed costs means profitability will be less than half of what it was before the pandemic roiled the business, the report says. Reopening costs could send that figure even lower.
Pubs and restaurants are allowed to open on July 4, and social-distancing rules will be eased, allowing people to return to gather in closely confined spaces. The attempt to kickstart the economy comes even as government advisers warn that coronavirus, which has killed more than 43,500 people, will probably persist into 2021.
Pubs in Northern Ireland can serve customers from Friday, while beer gardens in Scotland can open from July 6. There is no fixed date for reopening the premises in Wales.
One in three adults is expected to visit a pub in the first week after they reopen. With the premises closed, Brits have been drinking more at home with alcohol stores one of just two retail channels to see an uptick in sales volumes since the start of the crisis.