Managed pub, bar and restaurant sales slow down

By James Beeson

- Last updated on GMT

Sales slow down: managed pubs have suffered recently
Sales slow down: managed pubs have suffered recently

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Like-for-like sales in Britain’s pub, bar and restaurant groups were ahead just 0.2% nationally compared to last August, according to the latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

This marks a slow down in growth for the sector, with 0.6% increases being recorded in both June and July.

London had a particularly poor month, with like-for-like sales down by 1.6%, while the rest of the country saw a 0.8% increase on August 2016.

It is thought that poor weather over the summer months may be to blame for the poor performance of pubs, restaurants and bars.

Significant cost pressures

“The wet weather can take some of the blame, with restaurant chains, which tend to do better when it’s raining, seeing a collective 1.1% increase for the month against a 0.3% decline among pub and bar groups,” said Peter Martin, vice president of CGA.

“What will worry operators is that this performance is lagging behind inflation, now edging up towards 3%, by some distance,” Martin continued. “The sector has had to absorb significant cost pressures already this year, particularly around property costs and food inflation – and most operators have passed at least some of that on to consumers through price rises.

"While those menu increases don’t appear to have hit sales, neither have they provided any noticeable revenue boost.”

“The one positive point is that consumers are still going out to eat and drink, and although sales are sluggish and hard fought for, at least they are not suffering the way other parts of the economy are, such as car sales,” Martin added.

Well below inflation

Coffer Corporate Leisure managing director Mark Sheehan said: “These numbers reflect the tough summer that many pubs and restaurant businesses have suffered. There is no hiding. These like-for-like figures are well below inflation.

“For restaurants particularly, they reflect the new openings over an extended period that have taken some trade from established operators. Pubs suffered from poorer weather in August compared to last year.”

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