UK to spend £2.5bn as hospitality fully re-opens

Photo by Tim Douglas from Pexels

UK to spend £2.5bn as hospitality fully re-opens

  • The UK is set to spend £2.5bn throughout w/c 17th May as venues open inside
  • 104 million people set to head to pubs, restaurants and cafes during the week of 17th May as indoor seating resumes
  • Sales are set to peak on Friday (£389.1m) and Saturday (£426.2m) 
  • Hospitality is set to bounce back in 2021, making £80.550bn by the end of the year – 63.3% more than in 2020

Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues in the UK are set for a much-needed £2.5bn sales boom next week as we are finally allowed to drink indoors! No more sitting outside in the rain and cold.

A new VoucherCodes.co.uk report, carried out by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), predicts that 104 million people will be heading out to hospitality venues in the week beginning 17th May to make the most of sitting inside for the first time this year. 


On their first day of full reopening – Monday 17th May, venues are expected to seat 13.6 million eager customers. Forecasting a spend £296.8m as many people set to enjoy their first indoor drinks and meals out since December 2020. 

With May’s poor weather conditions set to continue into next week. Venues will be thankful for the boosted custom from indoor bookings, which is set to steadily increase throughout the week. Friday and Saturday are set to be the busiest days. As 16.1m and 18.3m people plan to head out, spending a whopping £389.1m and £426.2m respectively. 

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

Predicted customer numbers and hospitality spend for w/c 17th May

DayCustomer numbersHospitality sales
Monday 17th May13.6m£296.8m
Tuesday 18th May14.3m£328.4m
Wednesday 19th May14.8m£335.7m
Thursday 20th May14.9m£348m
Friday 21st May16.1m£389.1m
Saturday 22nd May18.3m£426.2m
Sunday 23rd May12.2m£354.5m 
Totals:104m£2.5bn

It’s hard to believe that we haven’t been able to sit inside when going out since 16th December 2020! The report also highlights how eager customers are to make up for lost time, as predicted sales for next week are significantly higher than average. Compared to the same week in 2019 – during the last ‘normal’ May before Covid. Venues are set to see a 34.8% increase in sales next week, with consumers predicted to spend 41.2% more on Saturday (£426.2m) than the same day in 2019 (£301.84m)

VoucherCodes releases a new report with the CRR, Life after Covid

These findings come as VoucherCodes releases a new report with the CRR, Life after Covid, which examines prospects for the hospitality industry in 2021 and 2022 as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite venues being forced to remain closed during lockdown between January – April 2021, followed by a partial re-opening from 12th April until 17th May, the future looks bright. 

In 2021, the hospitality industry is forecast to make a considerable increase of 63.3% in sales compared to 2020, equivalent to £31.236bn. By the end of 2021, the hospitality industry is set to make a total of £80.550bn.

Looking ahead to 2022, the report predicts that hospitality is set for a bumper year as people enjoy their first full year without restrictions since 2019. Hospitality venues are forecast to take in £120.564bn by the end of 2022, a considerable £40.014bn (49.7%) more than in 2021.

Angus Drummond, Senior Director, Commercial at VoucherCodes.co.uk comments, “If people in the UK are known for anything it’s our love for pubs and restaurants, so it’s no surprise to see that so many people are planning to make the most of being able to sit inside and enjoy drinks and meals out next week. 

“It’s been an incredibly tough year for the hospitality industry with large periods of closure, so it’s particularly encouraging that this report forecasts a quick and strong recovery over the next couple of years. At VoucherCodes, we’re already working closely with our hospitality partners to support them during this adjustment period, as well as helping consumers save money as they get back to enjoying going out again.”