Bumper Easter weekend brings cheer following a dismal March for operators

13 April 2018 by
Bumper Easter weekend brings cheer following a dismal March for operators

Hospitality operators enjoyed a bumper Easter weekend after snowfall delivered a dismal March.

Like-for-like sales were up 5.9% over the long weekend, in comparison to a 3.1% decline over the month as a whole, the latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker show.

Peter Martin, vice-president of CGA, said: "It was a month to forget, with the only slight cheer coming for managed pubs outside of London which benefitted by people staying at home and away from work when the snow fell.

"Overall, March was bad news, so the uplift in sales over Easter weekend brought almost instant relief. Again all parts of the market benefitted."

Snowfall hit restaurants most severely with like-for-likes down 5% across March. Trading across the pub and casual dining sectors was down 4.3% in London and 2.7% outside the M25. Managed pubs fared slightly better, but still recorded a 2% decline in like-for-like sales.

It was restaurants that had the most to cheer about following the Easter weekend, after recording an 8% increase in like-for-likes compared to the four-day weekend year before, with pubs recording a 4.6% rise.

"But it's also worth remembering that Easter 2017 was not good for the market, with sales down on 2016, due to it falling late in April and being disjointed from school holidays in parts of the country. This year it wasn't."

Underlying like-for-like growth for companies in the Tracker cohort is running at 0.8% for the 12 months to the end of March, down from 1.1% at the end of February.

Martin added: "Although the public is still going out, their frequency of visits is not really changing, and with new openings still a feature of the market despite some recent high-profile closures, people have more choice and those visits are being spread across more brands. It's extremely competitive out there, and so operators are right to remain cautious."

Pubs continued to prove more resilient than restaurants in February>>

Sales up for pubs and restaurants despite dry January and high-profile closures>>

Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

As a current holder of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, Jacobs Media Group extends its condolences on the passing of Queen Elizabeth ll.

Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking