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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 21st Jun 2023 - Sector sales grow for eighth consecutive month
Sector sales grow for eighth consecutive month as bumper bank holidays help like-for-likes increase 5.6% in May: Britain’s leading managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved an eighth consecutive month of year-on-year sales growth in May, the latest Coffer CGA Business Tracker shows. The tracker – which is produced by CGA by NIQ in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM UK – revealed like-for-like sales increased 5.6% in May, which was boosted by a succession of bank holidays including an extended weekend for the King’s coronation. Pubs also benefited from widespread warm weather with like-for-like sales 8.8% ahead of last May. Trading at restaurants was more muted, with sales up 2.7%. Bars recorded a 6.6% drop in sales to continue a challenging year for the category. While managed groups’ total sales showed solid growth, May trading was dampened in many areas by rail strikes, while fragile consumer confidence continues to impact the frequency of visits to venues. Meanwhile, high inflation means sales remained below the levels of May 2022 in real terms. The tracker also highlighted the ongoing recovery of London’s hospitality sector after the turmoil of the covid-19 pandemic. Managed groups’ sales rose by an above-inflation 12.6% year-on-year, thanks in part to an influx of visitors for the Coronation. This was more than twice the level of the 4.9% growth beyond the M25 in May. Karl Chessell, director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said: “Managed hospitality groups continue to be challenged by soaring costs, the squeeze on consumer spending and rail travel disruption, making inflation-adjusted growth tough. Nevertheless, eight positive months in a row have shown demand for eating and drinking out remains strong, especially around holidays and big national occasions. As inflation falls and discretionary spending stabilises, we can be cautiously optimistic about a return to real-terms growth in the second half of 2023.” Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “There is increased competition from a wide range of new offers including experiential concepts and food markets, which are competing with more conventional offerings. The sector is hoping the warmer weather in June can help kickstart a real recovery in numbers.”

Deliveroo’s Snack to the Future report predicts VR dinner parties and restorative restaurants: Deliveroo has marked its tenth anniversary with a new report looking into the future of food delivery, which it predicts will include 3D printed meal plans, virtual-reality dinner parties, “breath-prints” and “restorative restaurants”. The company said its new Snack to the Future report – which brings together leading futurists and experts from the worlds of food, science, technology and innovation – has been created to give a forward-looking view of how the nation will be eating by 2040 and how “our dinner tables are set to revolutionise”. The report’s predictions include the introduction of ‘breath-prints’, which will see personal tech devices enabled with “BreathTech”, meaning you can breathe on your device and get a deep level of insight into what foods you should be eating to have optimal impact on your individual health and well-being. It also predicted Me-gansim – a hyper-personalised diet that is fully bespoke to your individual nutritional needs, powered by artificial intelligence technology; and Foodgasms – where food delivery services will be using additional digital audio and visual content to elevate the meal enjoyment experience. The report also highlighted 3D printed meal plans, with technology helping you create perfectly portioned and nutritionally balanced meals, of your choice, at home; and virtual-reality dinner parties – dine with celebrities, royals and late loved ones in your favourite holiday destination, or recreate food moments from famous movies thanks to virtual-reality technology. The report also predicted “restorative restaurants” – new restaurant concepts will remove outside world distractions, with personal tech devices banned at entry and a rise in the popularity of silent cafés and restaurants. Will Shu, founder and chief executive of Deliveroo, said: “As we look towards the next decade and beyond, Deliveroo will continue to create exciting new innovations in food delivery, build new and better consumer experiences and take Deliveroo beyond functionality and convenience to really capture the passion and emotion of food.”

Catering company Bovingdons unveils new brand identity: Catering company Bovingdons has marked the latest chapter in its 35-year history by unveiling a new brand identity. The catering and venue management company is updating its look and feel following its acquisition by Oak View Group in October last year. Bovingdons operates in venues across London including 87 Barts Close in the City, Fulham Palace, and St John’s Waterloo. Managing director Jay Burgesson-Carter said: “The new branding of Bovingdons encapsulates the company’s heritage and commitment to sustainability. The prominent green colour evokes a sense of tradition, paying homage to the company’s longstanding history and deep-rooted values. It also signifies Bovingdons’ dedication to environmental responsibility and its mission to promote sustainable practices within the catering industry. The modern font choice reflects the company’s forward-thinking approach and adaptability to changing times, while simultaneously maintaining a personal touch. Just as Bovingdons prides itself on delivering personalised experiences, the new typography conveys a sense of warmth and individuality, ensuring that every interaction with Bovingdons feels personal and memorable. With Oak View Group's support and expertise, we can now combine international expertise, insight and support with the boutique and personal care that we have always provided – hopefully the new identity reflects this.”

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