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Business leaders networking at the Peach 20/20 Conference  

24 Apr 2023

More good news on sector growth - with restaurant and pub up 2.4%

March like-for-like sales across managed pub, bar and restaurant groups were up 1.4% on March last year, according to the latest Coffer CGA Business Tracker - and if you strip out the negative numbers from bars (the late night market is having it‘s own particular challenges), the core restaurant and pub cohort is up 2.4%.

It means the Tracker has now been in year-on-year growth for six successive months. Pubs achieved like-for-like sales growth of 2.4% in March, while restaurants were 2.5% ahead of March 2022. The bars segment had a third consecutive month of negative figures, with sales down 13.2%.
The Tracker highlights an ongoing revival in London since the end of COVID-19 restrictions, with trading outpacing the rest of the country. Sales within the M25 were 3.1% ahead year-on-year, compared to 1.2% outside the M25.

Peter Martin, Peach 20/20 founder, said: “This is healthy trading and shows that consumer demand is still strong, despite (if not because of) the cost of living crisis. Remember, people hate being miserable - and not everyone is being affected equally.

“It‘s more evidence to challenge the myth that people prefer to stay at home. National media please note - and it‘s a message the investment community needs to hear too.

“Cost pressures can‘t be ignored, of course, and their effect on operators‘ bottom-lines is real and painful - but it’s worth noting that like-for-like sales growth across the 70+ participants in the Tracker over the last 12 months were up 13% compared to the previous 12 month period. This is a resilient market.”

Karl Chessell, director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said: “These figures emphasise that trading conditions in hospitality remain challenging and operators have to work hard to grab their share of sales. Consumers’ interest in eating and drinking out remains strong, but after adjustments for inflation it’s clear that in real terms, it is tougher for operators this year than last year. May’s three bank holidays will bring opportunities for strong trading, and there is cautious optimism that pressure on spending may ease as the year goes on.”

Read more and download the full report here. 
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