Clive Watson, chief executive of City Pub Group, which has 48 sites, told the newspaper: “It’s gone gang busters. People are desperate to catch up with their friends.”
Des Gunewardena, owner of D&D, said they are fully booked for the next two months.
“We are absolutely chocker. Some of our restaurants are full all the way through April and well into May,” he said.
“We have got double the level of bookings already compared to when we reopened on Super Saturday last year – it’s way stronger than we expected.”
Wagamamas and Frankie & Benny’s boss Andy Hornby said there is a real sense of “pent-up demand”.
Fuller’s, which has 400 pubs, added that they are taking a high level of bookings as people “clearly can’t wait to get back to the pub.”
While some venues have seen a rush in bookings, many restaurants and pubs will be unable to reopen until May 17 because they don’t have outdoor areas.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said last week: “April isn’t going to represent a reopening of any significance, or a reopening at all, for much of the sector. We need to remember that nearly 60 per cent of hospitality businesses don’t have outdoor areas and many that do only have small spaces.”
From May 17, restaurants will be allowed to offer indoor seating to diners from two households or groups of up to six people.
Limited crowds will also be allowed at sporting events.
From June 21, all remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted, meaning larger events will go ahead and nightclubs could finally reopen.