The latest edition of the Contract Caterer Tracker shows sales from April to June 2021 were up by 69% on the same three months in 2020, when the UK moved into a full national lockdown.
Year-on-year sales growth grew at a higher pace from April to June — months in 2020 when the majority of venues served by contract caterers, such as schools, universities, offices and sporting venues were closed. Rolling 12-month sales still went down on pre-Covid levels.
Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA, commented: “After a devastating 2020 and early 2021, these numbers are encouraging signs that the contract catering sector’s recovery is underway.
“With many people continuing to work from home, it may be some time before sales get back to pre-Covid-19 levels, but the gradual return of education, leisure, and event catering over the second quarter has been a positive start.
“As is the case in hospitality, the pandemic has reminded us just how much consumers and organisations value contract caterers. Significant operational challenges remain, especially in recruitment and distribution, but we can be optimistic that demand will continue to pick up over the rest of 2021.”
CGA partners on the Contract Catering Tracker include Compass UK, Elior, Sodexo, Bartlett Mitchell and BaxterStorey.