Hospitality records strong sales in September but London lagging behind

18 October 2021 by
Hospitality records strong sales in September but London lagging behind

Britain's leading managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved a significant bounce in sales in September, the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker reveals.

The Tracker, produced by CGA in partnership with the Coffer Group and RSM, found total sales were 8% higher than in September 2019 and 42% higher than September 2020.

It marked a second successive month of year-on-year increases, with restaurants and pubs each recording total sales growth of 8%. For pubs, it was a notable improvement on growth of 3% in August 2021. Bars were again the best performing segment of all, following the easing of restrictions on the late-night sector in July.

September trading was boosted by growing consumer confidence about safety and spending, good weather in many areas and ongoing staycations. However, there was a clear gap in performance between London, where sales dropped 1% on September 2019, and the rest of the country, where they were up 12%, indicating that the capital continued to be affected by a shortage of office workers and international tourists.

Managed groups in all parts of the country faced mounting challenges on many fronts in September, including staff shortages, supply chain disruption and inflation in key cost areas. The Coffer CGA Business Tracker also highlighted the long-term impact of the COVID crisis, with managed groups' rolling 12-month sales to the end of September 2021 down by 10% on the 12 months before that.

Karl Chessell, director at CGA, said: "These figures demonstrate the resilience of managed restaurants, pubs and bars in the face of strong headwinds, and show consumers' appetite for eating and drinking out remains high. It's especially pleasing to see revitalised sales for bars after enduring restricted trading for so long. However, difficulties for London and a 10% shortfall in rolling 12-month sales are reminders that we are not yet out of the woods. Many businesses remain under severe pressure from operational issues and debts, and they deserve targeted and sustained government support to sustain their recovery."

Trevor Watson, executive director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: "These are encouraging figures, however it is absolutely vital that the sector continues to grow revenues to combat higher utilities costs, input costs and wages costs, alongside restored VAT and business rates which are now hard wired in for the next 12 months."

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, said: "The stark contrast in results for London… demonstrate that the challenges faced by the hospitality sector are far from over."

He added: "There is a clear need for further targeted support from Rishi Sunak in his Autumn Budget Statement to help operators gear up for the all-important festive trading season."

Photo: Shutterstock

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!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. 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