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Mon 3rd Dec 2018 - On-trade beer sales see first third-quarter rise in 15 years following World Cup boost
On-trade beer sales see first third-quarter rise in 15 years following World Cup boost: On-trade beer sales have seen their first third-quarter growth in more than 15 years, according to the latest Beer Barometer sales data from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). Sales in the on-trade were up 0.9% in the quarter, while overall beer sales increased 4.4% compared with the same period in 2017. The BBPA said the increase in on-trade sales was driven by the success of England at the Fifa World Cup, which saw the national team reach the semi-finals of the tournament, driving footfall in pubs where fans watched the games. It was also driven in part by the good weather during the summer months. In the off-trade, beer sales in the third quarter of 2018 were up 7.6% on the same period in 2017. The BBPA said although the World Cup was a welcome boost to pubs, it only came around once every four years meaning pubs can’t rely on it for growth. Uncertainty surrounding Brexit is also a major concern for the brewing and pub sector. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “It is certainly good to see beer sales are doing better overall. England’s success at the World Cup and good weather undoubtedly helped. The chancellor’s decision to freeze beer tax and lower business rates for thousands of pubs in the Budget will make a huge difference to the viability of the sector but Brexit looms large, and brewers and publicans alike need certainty. Clarity on the transition period from 29 March onwards and a strong steer on the future relationship with the EU would be a boost to the trade and beer sales. A no-deal Brexit should be avoided at all costs.” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls added: “For hospitality businesses to continue to thrive in the long-term, the government needs to do more for those that are the heart of high streets and have ambitious growth plans.”

Big Easy and David Lloyd sign up for flexible pay scheme for staff: Three-strong barbecue restaurant brand Big Easy and leisure company David Lloyd have signed up to the UK’s first “get paid as you go” flexible income service, which will cover 4,500 staff nationwide. Employees can access their earned income at any time during the month after the companies signed up to the joint service provided by Fourth, the software partner to the hospitality industry, and social impact startup Wagestream. Payments facilitated by Wagestream are deducted from the normal monthly pay cycle overseen by Fourth. A Wagestream survey of 1,500 UK workers found shift workers are hardest hit during the extended December to January pay cycle, with almost two-thirds (66%) unsure they will be able to cover the cost of Christmas. Almost one-third (29%) of shift workers don’t know whether they’ll be paid before or after Christmas. Almost two-thirds (66%) and 90% of shift workers said the power to access earned income during the month would help them avoid using loans or credit cards and getting into debt. More than half (51%) of shift and freelance workers would also be motivated to pick up more shifts if they could access their income more flexibly. Wagestream chief executive Peter Briffett said: “Offering staff the ability to access earned income before late January will help them avoid the ‘payday poverty’ cycle of overdrafts, credit cards and high-interest loans – improving employee wellbeing, productivity and retention.” Fourth chief executive Ben Hood added: “This is a challenging time of the year for many hospitality workers, with spend increasing and the gap between pay cycles widening. We’re delighted to have David Lloyd and Big Easy embracing the new service. It’s a low-cost, low-risk, high-impact way to give employees the financial flexibility they need over this financially stressful festive period.”

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