Revolution Bars sees strong demand following lockdown easing

Bosses at Revolution Bars said they expect to see sales this year ahead of expectations as the reopening of its sites following the easing of lockdown restrictions saw greater demand than first thought.

The company, which has 66 bars across the country, said despite seats representing only 28% of total capacity in its sites, sales are now 86% of levels in 2019 before the pandemic struck.

Bars and pubs must only offer table service currently and customers cannot order drinks from the bar.

But there was a note of caution for the winter months as management said they remained aware that any uptick in cases could lead to new restrictions later in the year.

Bosses added they believe, based on customer reaction over the past six weeks, that significant further pent-up demand exists.

However, they remain cautious about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic may have and urged the Government to ensure the complete ending of restrictions remains in place for later this month.

The increased confidence means the company believes underlying pre-tax losses for the year will be £12.5 million – less than first thought – with less bank debts.

Chief executive Rob Pitcher said: “As predicted we have continued to see huge pent-up demand and a rapid recovery across the nation in our bars following indoors reopening.

“We were disappointed to see that the much anticipated ‘Freedom Day’ of June 21 was delayed but the new date of July 19, when our bars will be able to trade without restrictions, looks more certain than ever.

“Following 16 months of Government-imposed restrictions on our business, our customers are very keen to take advantage of our full guest experience.

“Whilst we anticipate strong demand for our late night offering, we continue to be cautious about possible restrictions on our business during the winter period.”