Pubs expect to serve 21 million fewer pints over bank holiday weekend

Pubs are anticipating selling 21 million fewer pints than normal over the bank holiday weekend as the sector called for all restrictions to be removed on June 21.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said the lifting of all restrictions next month was essential for the survival of the sector.

Despite a positive start to indoor and outdoor trading, the restrictions currently placed on pubs – including table service only – are significantly reducing the number of customers they can host, and therefore the number of pints they can sell, the trade association said.

It estimates pubs will lose out on £80 million in revenue from pint sales this bank holiday weekend alone, down 34% on revenue for a normal spring bank holiday weekend.

Approximately 95% of the UK’s 47,000 pubs have reopened. However, they must still operate under restrictions including table service only, one metre-plus social distancing, table sizes of up to six indoors and no bar service.

More than 2,000 pubs remain closed because they are too small to operate social distancing or table service only.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We estimate Brits who go and support their local this bank holiday weekend will buy 42 million pints. Whilst that is better than being closed with no trade at all, it is 21 million pints fewer than normal for the spring bank holiday.

“Revenues for pubs this bank holiday weekend will be £80 million lower than normal when it comes to beer sales. That is a huge amount of money and could be the difference between surviving or thriving for thousands of pubs in communities across the country.

“As more and more people get their vaccine, and if reports continue to suggest that the Indian variant is less prevalent than originally believed, all restrictions must be removed in pubs on June 21 as per the Government’s own road map.

“Pubs only have a fighting chance of recovering from more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions if they can fully reopen as normal.”