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Mon 17th Sep 2018 - Update: Coffer Peach Tracker, Deltic Night Index, Giraffe and Ed's Easy Diner launch retail range
Britain’s eating-out market sees like-for-likes rise 0.6% in August: Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales edge up 0.6% in August, the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker has revealed, with more mixed weather bringing better news for the country’s casual dining chains. Managed pubs saw collective like-for-likes grow 0.2% compared with August last year, while restaurant groups were up 1.4% for the month. The figures were welcome news following July’s trading, which saw flat growth overall and restaurant group sales fall 4.8%. “These latest figures will come as a huge relief for restaurant operators, who have been under the cosh of late, not least because of the early summer heatwave that was great news for Britain’s pubs as the public headed outdoors but little help for the country’s restaurant chains,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM. “More mixed weather during August and a damp bank holiday weekend will have helped the casual dining market. The school holidays will have also helped as parents looked to keep their families occupied.” London performed better than the rest of the country, with August like-for-like sales up 1.5% on the same period last year, while outside the M25 trading was up only 0.4%. “The summer tourist season and the continuing good weather appears to have given an uplift to trading levels for restaurants in London, especially those with external seating,” said Coffer Group chairman David Coffer. “This is also reflected in the increase of like-for-likes in restaurant groups. This may well be a deceptive improvement as the impact of possible political upheaval begins to gain momentum over the coming months. The reaction of the UK restaurant public could swing either way in terms of seeking solace in food and beverage venues. Generally, we are seeing a continuing demand for restaurants in good trading locations but a drop in demand otherwise. Premiums for leases are certainly at a five-year low.” Underlying like-for-like growth for the 47 companies in the Tracker cohort, which represents both large and small groups, was running at 0.5% for the 12 months to the end of August, the same as it was at the end of July. Total sales growth across the pub and restaurant cohort, which includes the effect of new openings, was 3.2% in August, reflecting a slowdown but not a halt in brand roll-outs, and was running at 3.7% for the 12 months to the end of August.

One-fifth of consumers leave their town for nights out due to ‘lack of diversity and venues’: Almost one-fifth (19.5%) of consumers avoid nights out in their local town because they don’t offer diverse and late-enough nightlife, according to the latest Deltic Night Index, highlighting areas of opportunity for government and operators to boost local economies. Another one-quarter (24.3%) split where they go out equally between staying in their local town and travelling to another. The research also highlighted the key factors that motivate respondents to travel outside their local areas for a night out. More than one-third (33.4%) who do travel outside their town said they do so because their local town doesn’t offer a diverse nightlife. The figure rises to 38.8% among 18 to 30-year-olds. Other popular responses to the Index included wanting to go to a specific event (44.4%) and nightlife in the local town finishing too early (18.9%). These figures increase notably among those aged 18 to 25. When asked how long they would travel for a night out, the average figures were 39 minutes to a good pub, 40 minutes to a cinema, 42 minutes to a good bar, 51 minutes to a good club, and 92 minutes to a live music event. Total spend on a night out is £56.25, down from £59.40 last quarter and £59.66 this time last year. More than half (56.2%) of respondents go on a night out at least once a week – up from 54.5% last year. Peter Marks, chief executive of The Deltic Group, said: “This quarter’s Deltic Night Index shows us consumers are happy to spend time and money on fun, unique nights out. A few stats stood out from this report – that almost 20% of people don’t go out in their local town; 18.9% of consumers go out in another town because the nightlife in their local town finishes too early; and 33.1% do not think their local town offers diverse nightlife. These three stats show us there is still much to be done by operators and local governments around investment, licensing and security to improve the offerings in our local towns. Together we can ensure the 20% enjoy a great night out closer to home.”

Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner enter first retail partnership: Boparan Restaurant Group has entered into partnership with Tesco for the launch of the debut retail range from two of its brands. A variety of world dishes from Giraffe and US-inspired desserts from Ed’s Easy Diner are available to buy in more than 300 Tesco stores nationwide, as well as online. Included in the new appetiser range from Giraffe are patatas bravas and harissa spiced lamb kofta, while the selection of main courses features malay vegetable curry and Sri Lankan prawn curry. Meanwhile, Ed’s Easy Diner dessert options are cookie dough and banoffee pie. Boparan Restaurant Group chief executive Tom Crowley said: “As we continue to develop our Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner brands, it is great to be entering the retail arena with an experienced and market-leading partner such as Tesco. In the case of Giraffe, we are launching some brilliant new dishes representing the brand’s strength in classic and emerging flavours from across the globe, while our dessert choices from Ed’s Easy Diner are true American classics. This is great news for Giraffe and Ed’s loyal customer base, who will now be able to access our brands through a new channel.” Tesco buyer Sonia Morland added: "We’re delighted to be launch partners with Giraffe and Ed’s, and to have the opportunity to introduce the debut retail ranges of two well-established and popular brands into our stores. It is also especially pleasing Tesco shoppers will be the first to enjoy these new ranges, particularly since they offer the ideal solution for customers looking to treat themselves and their families to something more adventurous at mealtimes." Crowley said in partnership with Tesco, decisions on future additional store locations and dish range expansion will be reviewed later this year.

Consumer spending at hotels, restaurants and bars rises 4.7% in August: Consumer spending at hotels, restaurants and bars increased 4.7% in August compared with the same month last year, according to Visa’s latest UK Consumer Spending Index. The category saw the highest increase during a month in which overall consumer spending rose 0.4% year-on-year. Although only slight, the rise contrasted with a minus 0.9% fall in July. Consumer spending has now increased in three of the past four months, though the latest upturn was softer than those seen in May (0.9%) and June (0.7%), and continued to signal relatively subdued expenditure trends in 2018 so far. The food, beverages and tobacco category saw the second-highest rise in spending (2.6%), followed by clothing and footwear (1.7%) and miscellaneous goods and services (0.1%). All other categories saw a year-on-year fall. Expenditure increased 0.3% year-on-year across face-to-face categories, while spending across e-commerce channels fell slightly (0.2%). Visa chief commercial officer Mark Antipof said: “In a welcome contrast to the prior month, August’s consumer spending was buoyed by face-to-face purchases with back-to-school spending among parents likely contributing to a glimmer of hope for our high streets. The prolonged good weather has seen sustained performance for hotels, restaurants and bars, and food and drink again topping the sector categories. Despite the increasing pressure on household budgets, bricks-and-mortar retailers will take encouragement that face-to-face spending rose at a faster rate than e-commerce. Since Visa’s Consumer Spending Index first launched, one of the overarching trends has been the dominance of e-commerce over face-to-face spending. This is certainly an area to watch.”

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