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Pubs and bars in like-for-like sales decline after perfect summer as restaurants experience boost

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Pubs and bars in like-for-like sales decline after perfect summer as restaurants experience boost

Pubs and bars experienced a decline in like-for-likes sales in June after a bumper summer 2018, while the restaurant trade picked up by comparison.

Data compiled by the CGA Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which observes sales at 50 leading brands across the food and drink sector, found that sales dropped at pubs and bars by 1.2%, while drinks sales dropped by 2.2%.

It follows an anomalous summer for the trade, which capitalised heavily on the mini heatwave that warmed the UK while England’s long campaign in the World Cup also boosted trade.

Meanwhile, restaurant chains, which struggled for the same reasons pubs thrived, experienced a like for like boost of 6.1%

Karl Chessell, director of CGA, said: “It’s all down to football and the weather. Last June, pub and bar groups saw sales jump 2.8%, largely thanks to the mini-heatwave at home and England’s good showing in the men’s football World Cup, while restaurants suffered a 1.8% decline. This June the roles have been reversed, with more sedate conditions favouring eating rather than drinking out.

“It demonstrates how outside factors still influence trading patterns. The underlying good news is that the market overall still grew, if modestly, by 1.4%, despite all the current political uncertainty, predictions of tumbling consumer confidence and flat trading in May”.

When including newly opened sites under the monitored brands, overall sales were ahead by 3.7% as firms capitalised on the void left by struggling competitors.

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, said: “A number of high-profile restaurant closures in recent months has culminated in a net reduction of sites in June, leaving those operators that remain to benefit from reduced competition.

“We put much of this month’s increase in like-for-like sales down to supply and demand approaching a more even keel. There are certainly more challenges ahead, but these results will be pleasing news to embattled food-led operators.”

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