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Mon 17th Dec 2018 - Sector like-for-likes up 1.5% in November, average spend on night out rises 8.9% as frequency falls
Sector like-for-likes up 1.5% in November, London outperforms regions: Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales grow 1.5% in November compared with last year, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Pub and restaurant operators both saw positive sales during the month, with collective like-for-likes ahead 2.1% and 0.6% respectively. London outpaced the rest of Britain with like-for-likes up 2.3%, compared with 1.3% outside the M25. “The November figures will be welcome for a market that has seen generally flat trading across the year, and operators will hope this upward trend continues into the festive season,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM. “Managed pubs have continued to trade better than the restaurant market, especially in London where collective like-for-likes were up 3.1%. Restaurant chains also did marginally better in the capital with sales up 0.9%, compared with 0.5%, but as the figures show remain under pressure from increased costs and tough competition. Drink sales were the main driver of pubs’ better performance, up 3.0% against a 0.6% uplift in food sales. Chains are continuing to open sites and, although the rate of expansion has slowed, there were more openings than closures among the tracker cohort over the month.” Davis Coffer Lyons chairman David Coffer added: “The figures reflect what we are experiencing at the ‘coalface’ with an ever-increasing demand for pubs and, indeed, late-night bars, not only in the capital but across the country. The demand for restaurant space is increasing but is reflective of the current political uncertainty. Traditionally, there will be an acceleration in restaurant trade as we approach the seasonal period and hopefully that will give an injection of confidence in the market. There is no doubt drinks-led operations are currently leading the way. Comparatively, there is a considerable amount of restaurant stock hitting the market and once this has been taken up we anticipate further growth in this part of the sector.” Total sales, which include the effect of new openings since this time last year across the 49 companies in the tracker, were ahead 3.7% compared with last November. Underlying like-for-like growth for the tracker cohort, which represents large and small groups, was running at 0.8% for the 12 months to the end of November, virtually the same as at the end of October, showing the eating and drinking out market remains essentially flat.

Average spend on night out up 8.9% as frequency falls, safety focus highlights clear discrepancy in attitudes between men and women: Average consumer spend on a night out is up 8.9% year-on-year to £67.05, the latest Deltic Night Index has revealed. Spending is up across food, transport, entry fees and drinks in the venue, while pre-drink spend was down 1.5% on the previous year. The frequency of nights out has fallen, with 53.9% of individuals going out at least once a week compared with 60.1% last year – a 6.2% decline. The latest research focused on security and safety for the first time and highlighted a clear discrepancy in attitudes between men and women. More than nine in ten (90.4%) of consumers said how safe they feel on a night out – from the venue itself to travelling there and back – is an important factor when judging how good a venue is. More than three-fifths (63.2%) feel safe using public transport when travelling to a night out, compared with 52.1% on the way home – this figure drops to 46.3% among women. Similarly, 64.1% of women and 54.2% of men said increased lighting on streets would make them feel safer on a night out. Almost two-fifths (38.3%) of women and 19.1% of men said the provision of phone-charging points would make them feel safer, while 32.1% of women and 20.4% of men, said the provision of emergency phones would help. More than one-third (34.1%) of women and 13.8% of men said female venue security made them feel safer, while more than three-quarters (76.9%) of respondents feel safe being in a venue that searches customers before entry and 71.2% feel safe in a venue that has metal detectors on the door. More than one-quarter (27.4%) of respondents feel bodycams intrude on their privacy, whereas almost three-quarters (74.1%) are happy bodycams are being adopted in late-night venues. In terms of who was most responsible for providing a safe night out, more than half (55.6%) said themselves, followed by nightclub owners (19.0%) and council and emergency services (10.0%). Deltic Group chief executive Peter Marks said: “We know safety is a key priority for operators and consumers and we have always worked with all local stakeholders to ensure this is the case. But this data shows there is an opportunity for operators and local authorities to come together to help create an environment that feels even more safe. The data has revealed a consistent, clear discrepancy in attitudes between men and women. Clearly, when it comes to creating a healthy late-night economy, the focus needs to be on creating a night out everyone can enjoy.”

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