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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 14th Aug 2023 - More than a third of Brits reduce amount of times they go on night out due to increased living costs
More than a third of Brits reduce amount of times they go on night out due to increased living costs: More than a third of Brits (34.9%) have reduced the amount of times they go on a night out since the autumn, according to a new survey by late-night operator Rekom UK. Nearly half (49.6%) of those said this was as a result of increased general living costs, followed by more expensive bills (42.8%) and the need to save any spare disposable income (33%). Increased rent came out as a main concern for more than a fifth (21.19%) of those aged 25 to 34. Only 5.1% of those surveyed are not adjusting their socialising budgets at all because of the cost-of-living crisis. Peter Marks, chairman of Rekom UK, said the results should be a warning to the sector “to sit up and take note of what’s going on” – and the importance of remaining flexible in responding to changes in consumer behaviours. Pricing remains the most important factor for consumers when deciding whether to go on a night out – this has increased by 6% since the last Rekom Night Index in March 2023. The average total spend on a night out has decreased 0.2% to £74.78 (March 2023: £74.91; September 2022: £73.36). Average pre-drink spend increased by 1.1% to £13.31 (March 2023: £13.17; September 2022: £13.21). Average food spend increased 0.8% to £17.26 (March 2023: £17.12; September 2022: £16.34). Average transport spend decreased 0.2% to £13.51 (March 2023: £13.54; September 2022: £13.39). Average entry fee spend increased 0.3% to £11.53 (March 2023: £11.49; September 2022: £10.13). Average drinks spend in venue decreased 2.2% to £19.16 (March 2023: £19.59; September 2022: £20.29). Additional category of daytime spend in preparation of a night out increased 0.7% to £16.28 (March 2023: £16.16; September 2022: £16.24). Other top priorities for people when choosing a venue to go out included cheap or no entry fee (27.8%) and good value drinks (27%). When it comes to personal finances, those aged 18 to 24 were the most concerned about thinking more long-term and are prioritising having back up savings (37.7%), compared with those aged over 55 (21.7%). This lies in stark contrast to the greater proportion of those aged over 55 who say they hadn’t adjusted their budgets at all in light of the cost-of-living crisis while full-time employees are able to spend more than students (£99.78 compared with £79.01) on an average night out. Men spend more than women, on average (£92.48 compared with £90.41). The main reasons for going out among respondents are (largely) unchanged since March 2023, with the top reasons being: time with friends (61.4%) (up from 58.9% in March); to celebrate an event/occasion (31.3%) (up from 29.8% in March); relieving day-to-day pressures and stress (26%) (up from 22.4% in March); and to enjoy shared experiences (25.8%) (up from 25.4% in March). Peter Marks, chairman of Rekom UK, said: “Our Night Index continues to show that due to the challenging economic situation, young people are going out less and choosing more cost-effective ways of socialising as they look to save any spare cash they can for more pressing financial priorities such as rent or general living bills. This will have a knock-on effect for the whole of the night-time economy. You have to feel sorry in particular for students. Having had their studies disrupted by covid-19, a return to normality should be what they were looking forward to. To then face a cost-of-living crisis and huge inflationary pressures when it’s ‘their time’ as young adults, is a real kick in the teeth. For those of us who were students once, we know that socialising and meeting new people is a really important part of going to university. We should take this survey as a warning to sit up and take note of what’s going on – we hope that these findings highlight to all those trading in the industry the importance of remaining flexible in responding to changes in consumer behaviours. People are predisposed to come together, have fun and spend time with friends – it’s up to us as an industry to ensure we provide the right environment and adapt our business model to enable that to happen.”

Premium subscribers to receive two databases this week including new UK Food and Beverage Franchisee Database: Propel Premium subscribers are to receive two databases this week, including the new UK Food and Beverage Franchisee Database. It is the first time that profiles of 100 of the top food and beverage franchisees have been available in one place in the UK. The go-to database – which will be released on Wednesday (16 August) and features many of the big franchise operators running Costa Coffee, McDonald’s and Domino’s sites – brings together a wealth of information on an increasingly important part of the market, and the first edition will feature more than 32,000 words of content. The sixth major database exclusive to Premium subscribers, it will be sent out bi-monthly, including new entries and updates to existing entries. The companies, listed in alphabetical order, will have their most recent results reported as well as broader information around the company’s background, site numbers and board make-up. Premium subscribers will also receive the next Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage on Friday (18 August). A total of 12 companies have been added to the database, which now features 726 companies. This month’s edition also includes 64 updated entries. The companies, listed in alphabetical order, will have their most recent results reported as well as broader information around Ebitda, plans and trading style available. The database merges Companies House information, interviews and other public information to provide an easy to reference and exhaustive guide to the sector. Premium subscribers also receive access to four other databases: the Propel Multi-Site Database, produced in association with Virgate; the New Openings Database; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book; and the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription. Premium subscribers are also being given exclusive access to the recording and slides to Propel Multi-Club Conferences. They also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group editor Mark Wingett.

West End landlord Shaftesbury secures new £200m loan facility: West End landlord Shaftesbury Capital has signed an agreement with Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva, for a new ten-year loan of £200m, secured against a portfolio of assets within the Carnaby estate. Shaftesbury stated: “The facility will sit alongside the existing secured term loans with Aviva Investors of £130m and £120m maturing in 2030 and 2035 respectively, which share in the asset security of the Carnaby estate. The additional financing has been priced with reference to ten-year UK gilt yields and when blended with the existing Carnaby term loans, the annual cash interest rate in respect of the overall amount of £450m of secured term loans with Aviva Investors will be 4.7%. As part of the financing agreement, the company and Aviva Investors will consider the future inclusion of specific sustainability-related metrics into its terms, ensuring that the facility is aligned with Aviva Investors' Sustainable Transition Loan Framework. This financing demonstrates a continuation of the strong relationship with Aviva Investors and underlines the attractiveness of the company's property portfolio to a broad range of institutional capital. The proceeds of the facility will be used to repay in part the £576m unsecured loan that was drawn in April 2023 to fund the repayment of the Shaftesbury secured bonds. As a result, the weighted average maturity of drawn debt will be extended to five years. The weighted average cost of debt will be 4.2%, which reduces to an effective cash cost of 3.3% after taking into account the interest income on cash deposits and the benefit of interest rate hedging.” The company was advised by Rothschild & Co.

Interest rates and housing costs hit consumer confidence: Rising interest rates and a jump in housing costs, for both homeowners and renters, have left Britons more pessimistic about their personal finances. A poll by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research showed confidence in household finances fell by 2.4 points in July to 76.3, where any figure below 100 shows a negative score, reports The Times. The outlook for the next 12 months was also downbeat, dropping by 4.7 points to 76.3. Workers were more worried, too, about their job security during July, with the score slipping by 0.6 points to 93.4, though that did not translate into wider concerns for the year ahead. There, the score for the next 12 months improved by 1.6 points to a positive 116.2. YouGov conducts 6,000 interviews per month, questioning people about household finances, property prices, job security and business activity, both over the past 30 days and looking ahead for the next year. Overall, it found consumer confidence, though down 1.6 points and recording the second monthly fall in a row, was at a neutral 100 points. Kay Neufeld, head of forecasting at the CEBR, said: “Following a near-uninterrupted upswing in consumer sentiment since November last year, British consumers have cooled on their assessment of economic conditions in recent months. While inflation has started to fall back, it still remains uncomfortably high.” Employees reported a slowdown in business activity over the past 30 days, down 2.8 points to 106.7, still in positive territory. The 12-month outlook slipped slightly to 119.1.

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