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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 18th Oct 2021 - Strong September for managed hospitality venues but rolling 12-month sales down 10%
Strong September for managed hospitality venues but rolling 12-month sales down 10%, still difficulties for London sites: The UK’s leading managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved a significant bounce in sales in September, the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker reveals. The Tracker, produced by CGA in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM, shows total sales up 8% on the pre-pandemic levels of September 2019. They were also 42% higher than in September 2020, when businesses were operating under strict covid restrictions. It marks a second successive month of year-on-year increases, with restaurants and pubs each recording total sales growth of 8%. For pubs, it was a notable improvement on growth of 3% in August 2021, while bars were again the best performing segment of all. September trading was boosted by growing consumer confidence, good weather and staycations, but there was a clear gap in performance between London, where sales dropped 1% on September 2019, and the rest of the country, where they were up 12% – indicating the capital continues to be hit by a shortage of office workers and tourists. The Tracker also highlights the long-term impact of the covid crisis, with managed groups’ rolling 12-month sales to the end of September 2021 down by 10% on the 12 months before that. CGA director Karl Chessell said: “These figures demonstrate the resilience of managed restaurants, pubs and bars in the face of strong headwinds, and show consumers’ appetite for eating and drinking out remains high. It’s especially pleasing to see revitalised sales for bars after enduring restricted trading for so long. However, difficulties for London and a 10% shortfall in rolling 12-month sales are reminders we are not yet out of the woods.” Trevor Watson, executive director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “These are encouraging figures, but it is absolutely vital the sector continues to grow revenues to combat higher utilities costs, input costs and wages costs, alongside restored VAT and business rates, which are now hard wired in for the next 12 months.”

Sector urged to use Hospitality Apprenticeship Week as platform to champion diverse and exciting careers on offer in industry: The sector is being urged to use Hospitality Apprenticeship Week as a platform to champion the diverse and exciting careers on offer by UKHospitality. This year’s event will seek to challenge misconceptions around roles in the industry and how working in hospitality is #MoreThanAJob. Throughout the week, UKHospitality will join the campaign and support it across three main pillars of educate, engage and employ. Operators are being urged to educate by showing what hospitality apprenticeships look like and highlight the diverse career pathways available; engage by helping showcase to younger jobseekers the exciting career opportunities open to them and employ by sharing job opportunities and encourage more people to start apprenticeships in the sector, either direct from further or higher education, or moving from a part-time role and making the decision to join full-time as an apprentice. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic way for people to learn about the wide range of roles in the sector, at a time when there are many opportunities to join our post-covid renaissance. Hospitality has embraced apprenticeships as a gateway into roles as well as for upskilling its existing workforce. After the past 18 months, building and training our workforce will be key to the recovery.” Hospitality minister Paul Scully added: “Through our Hospitality Strategy, the government is working hand-in-hand with the sector to help it make the most of its creative and innovative spirit as it builds back better from the pandemic. A hospitality apprenticeship can be the golden ticket to a great career.”

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