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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 19th Oct 2022 - Hospitality groups’ September sales drop 3% year-on-year as inflation bites
Hospitality groups’ September sales drop 3% year-on-year as inflation bites: Like-for-like sales at Britain’s top managed pub, bar and restaurant groups were 3.0% behind the levels of September 2021, the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker shows. The tracker – produced by CGA by NielsenIQ in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM UK – shows groups’ sales were ahead of pre-pandemic levels for the eighth month in a row, with like-for-like growth of 4.0% compared with September 2019. However, the dip from 12 months ago demonstrates the headwinds currently facing the hospitality sector – and with inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index at almost 10%, sales are much further behind last year’s numbers in real terms. Pubs were the strongest performing of the tracker’s three hospitality segments in September, with year-on-year sales growth of 1.7%. Restaurants’ like-for-like sales were down by 7.9% on September 2021, and bars’ sales by 16.0%. The tracker has better news from the London market, as groups’ sales within the M25 rose 3.1% year-on-year. It follows a steady return of visitors and office workers to the capital over the year, and a dramatic influx of people after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Beyond the M25, like-for-like sales were down by 4.5% from September 2021. Karl Chessell, director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA, said: “One year ago businesses and consumers were enjoying the end of covid-19 restrictions in restaurants, pubs and bars – but September’s dip in sales shows just how tough the market has become since then. Hospitality has done very well to haul trading back past pre-pandemic levels, but soaring costs in fuel, food and other areas are severely impacting companies’ margins. High inflation is making real-terms growth extremely hard, and while the government’s capping of energy prices is welcome, more measures are needed to support businesses over what will be a challenging winter.” Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “It is the coming months that are most important to pubs, restaurants and bars in the face of worryingly weak consumer confidence.”

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