Uncover outside trading opportunities with CGA’s RISE & Recovery Tracker

Fewer than half of England’s pubs, bars and restaurants will have any space to operate in when the sector opens for outside service in April—but those that do open are set to benefit from a useful kickstart to sales.

RISE, CGA’s online outlet and location targeting tool, reveals just over 26,000 sites have beer gardens, patios, terraces, or other external areas that could be used to host guests—43% of the total venues in these segments. The proportion rises to 68% in rural parts of England, but drops to 46% in suburban areas, and just 25% on high streets.


Pubs have a clear head start on outdoor trading, RISE shows. Over two thirds (72%) have outside space, compared to just 21% of bars and 8% of restaurants.


CGA’s drinks sales trackers meanwhile shows how outdoor trading can make a big difference to drinks sales. Between April and June 2019, community pubs with outdoor areas saw their weekly drinks takings run 22% ahead of outlets that didn’t have that luxury. Outside trading areas made a similar difference between July and September 2020, when the safety factor of less confined surroundings, combined with good weather, created a 23% differential in sales.


Even if venues have outdoor space, there is no certainty they will open from 12 April. Many areas will not be practical for trade, and others will not generate enough income to make opening worthwhile. On top of this is the uncertainty of the Spring weather, which might put consumers off visiting at all—though coverings and heaters might help to persuade them out.


On the flip side, some of the 57% of pubs, bars and restaurants in England without outside space may yet be able to trade. After previous lockdowns, local authorities in areas including London’s Soho and Manchester’s Northern Quarter let operators use street space to set out tables and chairs and increase their footfall. If they do so again in April, some city centre operators may find that opening is viable.

Suppliers and operators will now undoubtedly be planning for the reopening of hospitality. Identifying the most viable outlet opportunities, especially those with outdoor space in the immediate term, will be key to driving those early sales”, says Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK & Ireland.

Some pubs will enjoy full beer gardens if the sun shines, but others will find it tough to make outside spaces work, particularly in urban areas. The importance of understanding local landscapes and outlet features such as outlet segment, quality, volume band and product stocking details to reveal the most viable prospects for brands has never been more valuable; and CGA’s RISE offers this capability for clients”.

For pubs that do open for al fresco drinking, beer, cider, and wine are likely to be the most popular choices. Data from last summer’s Recovery Tracker shows that cask ale sales in community pubs with outdoor areas were 41% higher than in those without them. Premium lager (up 25%) and packaged cider (up 30%) benefitted too—as did wine and Champagne (up 46%) and soft drinks (up 39%).


RISE is CGA’s online On Premise outlet directory, sales targeting & location planning platform, helping you to build a complete picture of the market, your customers & the opportunity.  Through our outlet segmentation & comprehensive list of features, such as beer gardens & outdoor space, create customer & outlet lists that are relevant to you & your ambitions.


To find out more about RISE or CGA’s recovery sales tracking tools contact paul.bolton@cga.co.uk

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