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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 14th Oct 2019 - Managed pubs and restaurants see like-for-likes up 1.2% in September
Managed pubs and restaurants see like-for-likes up 1.2% in September despite worst month for retail since 1995: Like-for-like sales at Britain’s managed pubs and restaurants grew 1.2% last month despite the retail sector reporting its worst September trading since 1995, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Wet-led pubs had the best of trading in September, with like-for-like sales ahead 1.9% year-on-year boosted by warm weather, while restaurants and pub restaurants saw like-for-likes up 0.4%. In contrast, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showed total retail sales down 1.3%, with year-on-year like-for-like trading falling 1.7%. Regionally, outside London traded better in September, showing year-on-year like-for-like growth of 1.3%, compared with 1.0% inside the M25. “If Brexit worries have put the public off shopping on the high street, they don’t appear to have stopped them going out to eat and drink,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Coffer Peach Tracker in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM. “Just looking at retail as a barometer of the nation’s well-being you would be forgiven for thinking we were deeply depressed but the eating and drinking-out numbers paint a very different picture. It may be pubs and restaurants are providing welcome relief from the constant news of Brexit uncertainty. The warm weather at the end of the month certainly boosted wet-led pubs and bars, which together recorded a 2.6% like-for-like jump in sales, but it wasn’t just about the weather with restaurants and food-led pubs both seeing growth, if admittedly more modest.” Trevor Watson, executive director, valuations at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “The figures show generally encouraging trends across the sector. The comparison with retail illustrates the extent to which consumers are opting for intangible experiences with their disposable leisure spend. This shows a move towards sustainable consumerism, where purchasers shun superfluous fashion goods in favour of experiences and are increasingly looking for sustainably sourced food and healthy-eating menus. We continue to see appetite for good-quality sites nationwide.” Total sales across the 58 companies in the Tracker, which include the effect of net new openings since this time last year, were ahead 4.3% compared with September 2018. Underlying like-for-like growth for the Tracker cohort, which represents large and small operators, was running at 1.8% for the 12 months to the end of September. This compares with average monthly sales growth in the retail sector of only 0.2% during the past year, an all-time low according to the BRC.


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