The Caterer

Wettest December in a decade fails to dampen restaurant sales

19 January 2016 by
Wettest December in a decade fails to dampen restaurant sales

Managed pubs and restaurants saw sales increase 1.8% over Christmas and New Year despite the wettest December in a decade.

CGA Peach vice president Peter Martin said: "Perhaps the most interesting feature was that the big increases in sales were all seen in just the last two weeks, which included the Christmas and New Year holidays, when like-for-like sales were up by over 4.5% on 2014 in each week.

"The run-up was slow, and even negative in the last week of November, but built up into a crescendo in the two weeks when many people were off work."

The overall increase didn't show the same margin as 2014, where like for like sales went up 2.8%. However, total sales were up 5.2% on 2014 thanks to the impact of new openings.

In annual terms, like for like sales for the 12 months to December were up 1.5% on 2014.

Coffer Corporate Leisure managing director Mark Sheehan said, "Restaurant and pub groups reported another bumper festive period with very strong growth even against good LFLs in 2014. However, looking ahead we do predict a tougher 2016 with a marked downturn in consumer confidence and strong competition in the sector from the many expanding restaurant, bar and pub groups. Notwithstanding, overall we continue to expect growth ahead of inflation in most parts of the country and the various sub sectors."

RSM UK associate director Adam Spencer added that growth remained strongest outside the M25, where rents are lower.

He added: "Our chief concern is that continued wet weather, the proliferation of 'dry January' and stock market turbulence will impact the current month and negate any gains made over the festive period."

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