The report, by hospitality software start-up Stampede, also offers new insights into user behaviour post-lockdown, for example, demonstrating that the curfew had little effect because the population was effectively policing itself.
Among the key findings, during the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, 48.1 per cent of UK restaurant visits were on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Wednesday became the most popular day of the week, overtaking both Friday and Saturday – traditionally the busiest days.
The UK population moved away from late night drinking and dining long before the curfew was introduced, with pubs, bars and restaurants all experiencing earlier spikes in traffic in July and August compared with 2019.
Venues were far more dependent on regular and returning customers post-lockdown versus bringing in new customers, the report noted.
Meanwhile, cafe numbers were boosted during lockdowns, due to being some of the only venues open for takeaways.
Stampede chief executive and founder Patrick Clover said: “The data is clear, the UK hospitality sector cannot be turned off and on like a tap.
“The government may have chopped and changed its stance on hospitality restrictions, but human behaviour takes far longer to adjust, and the impact of lockdown is felt long after venues reopen.
“This is far from being a doom and gloom report, however. It explains how the UK’s wonderful hospitality venues reacted to lockdown and how real customers behaved in such strange times.
“It’s our view that they have acted far more responsibly than they have been given credit for.”
He added: “We also wanted to dig into the success and limitations of schemes like Eat Out To Help Out, which is still a subject of strong debate among restaurateurs. Yes, it did cannibalise some weekend trade, but it was an enormous success at bringing people back into restaurants and kickstarting the hospitality sector.”
Stampede was founded by Clover, a software developer and tech entrepreneur. The firm has now served more than four million users from some 1,000 locations.