Sales across JD Wetherspoons’ pubs in central London have plummeted by 17.4 per cent from last year.
Trade has recovered in cities such as Liverpool and Newcastle, which have enjoyed sales increases of 9.1 per cent and 11.1 per cent respectively.
However, the capital continues to suffer with City workers only returning to the area in recent months after over a year of pandemic restrictions.
The chain is now showing signs of recovery across the country, with customers free to drink indoors since May.
Like-for-like sales are now 8.9 per cent below 2019 levels, which is an improvement on the last ten weeks of 2020 when trading was 17.1 per cent below pre-Covid numbers.
Young people revive pub chain’s fortunes
Young people have been powering Wetherspoons’ revival, with sales of cocktails increasing 45 per cent on last year’s totals, while sales of vodka and rum enjoyed grew by 17 and 26 per cent respectively.
Instead, Wetherspoons is now struggling to lure its older patrons back to its venues.
Sales of traditional ales decreased by 30 per cent, and stout sales declined with a 20 per cent drop.
Breakfast orders are also down 30 per cent and coffees sales have fallen 22 per cent.
Wetherspoons founder and chairman Tim Martin believes some customers are “understandably cautious” due to concerns about catching Covid-19.
The pub chain has recently announced 99p pints to entice its established customer base to return.
The company also remains bullish about supply chain issues, stating that stocks of food and drink are in line with previous years.
It has also increased its base of employees from 36,987 when pubs reopened to 42,240 today, despite concerns over recruitment shortages in the hospitality sector.
Martin said: “The last 18 months have presented a considerable challenge to the hospitality industry, with many unexpected twists and turns. As in previous downturns, the company will continue to concentrate on providing high standards of service, reasonable prices and regular, small upgrades to the business.”