According to the latest data from payments processor Worldpay, hospitality sector takings could be up by as much as 15% this weekend (14 April to 17 April) compared to the average weekend, making the Easter bank holiday one of the most “important periods of the year” for the hospitality sector.
The data is based on calculated sales processed on Easter weekend 2016, using total card transactions processed by Worldpay in pubs and restaurants.
Competition for spaces in pub gardens will be fiercest in traditional tourist hot spots, said the company, while also stating areas such as Cornwall are predicted to have takings up by 39% compared to the seasonal average.
Commenting on the data, James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, said: “The weakness of the pound against currencies like the Euro could well present a silver lining for hospitality business owners this Easter.”
Preparation is the key
“According to one recent survey, 80% of Britons are concerned about holidaying in post-Brexit Europe, with many choosing to stay closer to home," continued Frost.
“This could mean a bumper weekend for small business owners in traditional UK tourist hot spots. Those that are well prepared for the influx will stand to benefit the most.
“Hospitality business owners will need to be at the top of their game to ensure they’re able to keep customers happy even at the busiest times. Technologies like contactless payments can really help take the pressure off staff during peak periods, speeding up service and reducing queues.”
Late Easter not all good news
However, this year’s late Easter holiday break has been the “chief culprit” for pub groups seeing like-for-like sales fall back 0.5% in March, according to latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
“Easter can usually be relied on to provide a significant boost to the eating and drinking-out market, but with it falling in April this year, a month later than last time, it has skewed March trading figures,” said Peter Martin, vice-president of CGA Peach.
“But with only a 0.5% decrease overall, operators will be hoping for an extra uplift when April numbers appear.
“With or without Easter, London saw strong trading during the month, with a 2.9% like-for-like increase across the market, driven in particular by robust sales in pubs and bars.
“The capital showed no immediate or obvious reaction to the Westminster terror attack either. However, outside the M25, like-for-likes dropped 1.7% in March.”