Growth boosted by bumper bank holidays
The Tracker reveals like-for-like sales increased by 5.6% in May, which was boosted by a succession of Bank Holidays including an extended weekend for the King’s Coronation. Pubs also benefited from widespread warm weather with like-for-like sales 8.8% ahead of last May. Trading at restaurants was more muted, with sales up by 2.7%. Bars recorded a 6.6% drop in sales to continue a challenging year for the channel.
While managed groups’ total sales showed solid growth, May trading was dampened in many areas by rail strikes, while fragile consumer confidence continues to impact the frequency of visits to pubs, bars and restaurants. Meanwhile, high inflation means sales remained below the levels of May 2022 in real terms.
The Coffer CGA Business Tracker also highlights the ongoing recovery of London’s hospitality sector after the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic. Managed groups’ sales rose by an above-inflation 12.6% year-on-year, thanks in part to an influx of visitors for the Coronation. This was more than twice the level of the 4.9% growth beyond the M25 in May.
Karl Chessell, director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said: “Managed hospitality groups continue to be challenged by soaring costs, the squeeze on consumer spending and rail travel disruption, making inflation-adjusted growth tough. Nevertheless, eight positive months in a row have shown that demand for eating and drinking out remains strong, especially around holidays and big national occasions. As inflation falls and discretionary spending stabilises, we can be cautiously optimistic about a return to real-terms growth in the second half of 2023.”
Read more and access the full report here.