United Kingdom

Hardy Brits have saved Revolution Bars, admits its Australian boss 

The Australian boss of Revolution Bars said British willingness to sit outside in the cold was 'unbelievable'.

Rob Pitcher said hardy drinkers had rescued the business after outdoor reopening on April 12.

Revolution, which has 66 bars, has been operating at 15 per cent of its total capacity for the past four weeks, but reported 48 per cent of pre-pandemic sales for the period.

Cheers: Revolution Bars boss Rob Pitcher said hardy drinkers had rescued the business after outdoor reopening on April 12

The figures, ahead of the reopening of indoor hospitality from Monday, show the extraordinary demand for eating and drinking out.

The chain demanded Boris Johnson accelerate out of lockdown and ditch social distancing restrictions.

Pitcher said: 'It seems absolutely ludicrous that we're going to be able to hug people, but you can't stand at a bar and order a drink. 

'Data is telling us we should be moving faster. That means we can get team members back to work and start repaying the national debt.'

Revolution sales fell 73.3 per cent to £21.6million in the six months to December 26. From Monday, it will only be able to take half the customers it could pre-pandemic.

Separately, City Pub Group, which announced full-year results, backed a steady course out of lockdown. 

Chief executive Clive Watson said: 'There's no medals for jumping the gun. We don't want another lockdown.'

Business has been 'encouraging', with its 24 pubs which can open outdoors trading at 77 per cent of 2019 levels. 

But revenue fell 57 per cent to £25.8million in the year to December 27, and a loss of £5.1million, compared to a profit of £5.3million the year before.

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