Skip to main content

News & Insights

Business leaders networking at the Peach 20/20 Conference  

18 Jan 2024

Britain’s top hospitality brands finish 2023 on a high

Britain’s top hospitality groups generated year-on-year sales growth of 8.8% in December, the latest CGA Hospitality Business Tracker reveals.
The excellent result capped a solid 2023 for managed pubs, bars and restaurants, who collectively achieved like-for-like growth in every month. December’s figure is a sharp increase from 4.0% in November, and more than double the current rate of inflation in the UK, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.   The Tracker—produced by CGA by NIQ —reveals like-for-like sales growth of 9.6% for pubs in December, while restaurants enjoyed an 8.3% upswing. Bars bounced back from a long run of negative figures with growth of 5.6%. Trading in the On The Go segment—a new segment for the Tracker—was 3.1% ahead.   For the 12th time in the last 13 months, growth in London was higher than elsewhere. Groups’ sales within the M25 in December were 11.2% up on last year, compared to an 8.1% increase outside it.   Karl Chessell, director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said: “December’s Tracker numbers show the enduring appeal of pubs, bars and restaurants over the festive season. They are a welcome sign that pressure on consumers’ spending may be easing, and the extra revenue is vital to groups as we enter quieter trading months. However, cost and labour issues mean some businesses remain under severe pressure. All operators will need to stay resolutely focused on the fundamentals of great hospitality in order to sustain real-terms growth throughout 2024.” Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM UK, said: “London's pubs and restaurants emerge as clear winners when it comes to festive trade for 2023. In 2022, train strikes sucked demand out of the sector and these like-for-like sales numbers are reflective of the first proper Christmas for operators post-COVID. Restaurants inside the M25 enjoyed like-for-like growth of 11.8% with pubs not far behind at 11.5%. Outside the capital, sales growth for restaurants was positive but more subdued, with like-for-likes up 8%.   "A bumper Christmas doesn’t resolve ongoing challenges for the sector, particularly for smaller independent operators as they struggle to cope with the growing cost of borrowing, energy bills and ingredients. The first quarter is always a particularly acute time for the hospitality sector, with lower footfall, quarterly rent payments and higher VAT bills which have already been blamed for the closure of several high-profile restaurants.   "To have navigated the market post-COVID only to fail now is heart-wrenching for these owners and further casualties look inevitable as hikes in national living wages and business rates from April make more businesses unviable.” CGA by NIQ collected sales figures directly from 99 leading managed groups for October’s edition of the CGA Hospitality Business Tracker, which provides authoritative monthly insights into Britain’s restaurant, pub and bar sales. Companies participating in the Tracker receive a fuller breakdown of trading that helps to benchmark performance and understand market trends. To join the cohort, contact Andrew Dean at Participants in the CGA Hospitality Business Tracker include: Adventure Bars, Adventure Leisure Ltd, All Star Lanes, Amber Taverns, Anglian Country Inns, Arc Inspirations, Azzurri Group (Ask Italian, Coco di Mama, Zizzi), Ballie Ballerson, Banana Tree Restaurants, Barburrito, Beds and Bars, Big Table Group (Bella Italia, Chiquito, Frankie & Benny’s, Las Iguanas), Bill’s Restaurants, Bone Daddies, Boxpark, BrewDog, Burger & Lobster, Buzzworks Holdings Group, Byron,  Coaching Inn Group Ltd, Comptoir Group Plc, Cote Restaurants, Darwin & Wallace, Dishoom, Dominion Hospitality, Five Guys, Fortnum & Mason, Fuller Smith & Turner, Gaucho Grill, Giggling Squid, Greene King (Chef & Brewer, Hungry Horse, Flaming Grill), Gusto Restaurants, Hall & Woodhouse, Hawthorn Leisure, Heartwood Collection, Honest Burgers, HOP Vietnamese, Individual Restaurants, Island Poké, Junkyard Golf Club, Kibou, Laine Pub Co, Le Bistrot Pierre, Liberation, Lina Stores, Loungers, Marston's, McMullen & Sons Ltd, Mildreds, Mitchells & Butlers (Harvester, Toby, Miller & Carter, All Bar One), MJMK Restaurants, Mojo Bar, Mowgli, Nando’s Restaurants, New World Trading Company, North Brewing Co, Oakman Inns, Parogon Pub Group, Peach Pubs, Pho, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut UK, Portobello Starboard Ltd, Prezzo, Punch Pub Co, Pure, Rekom UK,  Revolution Bars, Rick Stein Restaurants, Riley’s, Rola Wala, Rosa’s Thai, San Carlo, Shepherd Neame, Simmons Bars Group, Snug Bar, Southern Wind Group (Fazenda),  St Austell, Star Pubs & Bars, State of Play Hospitality, Stonegate Pub Co (Slug & Lettuce, Yates’, Walkabout, Bermondsey Pub Company), Tasty Plc, TGI Fridays UK, The Alchemist, The Restaurant Group,Tonkotsu, Tortilla, True North Brew Co, Upham Pub Co, Various Eateries (Strada, Coppa Club), Village Hotels, Wagamama, Wasabi,  Whitbread (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table), Wingstop, YO! Sushi and Young’s.
View all News & Insights