Bookings surge for pubs and restaurants show people want, and need to eat out

We do not need to remind you that restaurants reopen outdoors on Monday.

But have you booked anywhere? Finding tables now requires organisation. Reservations have flooded in.

Jack Stein, from the Stein Group, said he’s taking bookings for as far along as September, and saw around 20,000 reservations in a matter of days after the Government confirmed pubs and restaurants would be allowed to open.

D&D London saw as many as 50,000 bookings pile in across its network, between London, Manchester, and beyond. Countless others have been enjoying the same. There is real intent among the British public.

“We’re getting between 25 and 100 bookings a day,” said Tim Foster from Yummy pubs.

“People were enquiring before we opened reservations and as soon as we did there was a massive rush.

“At our country pub in Surrey, which has guest rooms, we’ve had people take every single one for big parties when it’s allowed. People have booked the whole pub out and they’re doing so up until September.

“We haven’t seen this kind of activity in years. The year started like a nightmare, but we’re looking ahead now.”

Fullers, which has about 400 pubs, said: “We are certainly taking a high level of bookings – people clearly can’t wait to get back to the pub, which is great to see.”

Independent restaurants have also seen a spike in numbers as the public prepares to spend after lockdown saving.

Bentley’s oyster bar in Mayfair, London, has a waiting list of over 500 in just its first week, while Fallow, a restaurant nearby, has taken 5,000 bookings for the first four weeks from May 17.

Becky Wilkes, a senior sales and marketing manager at D&D London, said they had “been blown away by the demand in bookings since the government announcement”.

“Within the first 48 hours of opening the books for 20 Stories in Manchester, we received an amazing 5,259 covers for the terrace, all for dates between 12 April and 16 May, prior to indoor hospitality opening, and we are now fully booked during that time,” she told the Guardian.

“We are now averaging roughly 250 dining covers per day and we are keeping half of the terrace open for drinks on a walk-in basis,” she said.

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