The research, which was compiled using Catton Hospitality’s S4Labour labour management software, took figures from venues across a broad range of industry sectors. It found that like-for-like sales on Christmas Day 2017 were up on average 21.2% versus 2016 in food-led sites while wet-led operators saw on average an increase of 15.4%.
Reports from two of the pub sector’s biggest companies, Marston’s and Mitchells & Butlers, showed the same like-for-like increases for the pair of 5.9% across their respective 1,559 and 1,780 sites.
Marston’s saw Christmas Day sales in excess of £4m for the first time in its history, while Mitchells & Butlers served more than 225,000 meals on the day – a new record for the pubco.
However, analysis by Catton Hospitality also revealed that sites that opened on Christmas Day were in the minority because only 35.5% of wet-led businesses opened for business, while 51.5% of food-led sites welcomed customers – representing a slight decrease on 2016 when Christmas Day fell on a Sunday.
Very healthy Christmas Day
Catton Hospitality director Richard Hartley said: “We have recently spoken to many customers who enjoyed very healthy sales on Christmas Day. We anticipate this will continue next year, and the opportunities for operators are apparent.”
While Catton Hospitality’s research shows that like-for-like sales figures on Christmas Day itself had increased across surveyed companies, their research comes in the wake of Coffer Peach’s Business Tracker findings that Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw like-for-like sales decrease by 0.1% over the six-week Christmas and new year period.
Catton Hospitality also noted a sharp decline in sales during the first two weeks of 2018, with late-night operators the worst hit.