Zero growth for pubs and restaurants in May

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

No change: May 2019 saw no growth for pubs and bars when compared to the same period in 2018
No change: May 2019 saw no growth for pubs and bars when compared to the same period in 2018
Managed pubs and restaurant groups saw flat-line trading in May, new research for the month has uncovered.

The Coffer Peach Business Tracker also reported like-for-like sales growth across the market was zero, compared to the same period last year.

When broken down into regions, London saw like-for-like sales down marginally (0.6%), while outside the M25, sales were up by just 0.2%.

Restaurant chains performed better than pubs and bars, and more strongly in recent months with like-for-likes up 3.1% against May 2018.

Pub and bar groups saw collective like-for-like sales drop by 1.7% with drink sales down 2.4% and food 1.6%.

Tougher trading conditions

CGA director Karl Chessell said: “The public still went out to eat and drink but only at the same level as last May.

“While this could initially seem like bad news for the market, especially after the positive growth seen in March and April, we have to remember May 2018 benefited from consistently good weather and the royal wedding, both boosting performance.

“Maintaining sales against this positive backdrop, and throughout what is widely acknowledged as tougher trading conditions, is no mean feat.”

Davis Coffer Lyons valuations executive director Trevor Watson outlined how the property company has found business over the past year.

He said: “The pattern of spending in restaurants and bars reflects weather variations. At Davis Coffer Lyons, we are experiencing improved activity in terms of site finding with many successful operators taking the view now is a good time to acquire high-quality locations without needing to pay for excessive premiums.”

Remarkably resilient

RSM head of leisure and hospitality Paul Newman was positive about the past few months when it comes to business growth for pubs and restaurants.

He added: “Given the backdrop of continuing political and economic uncertainty, growth rates have remained remarkably resilient throughout May.

“Operators have experienced much volatility in recent trading with performance fluctuating wildly throughout April, with a late Easter weekend, shifting bank holidays and some extremes of weather to navigate.

“The overall market remains flat and those who remain open for business will hope to begin to benefit from recent restaurant closures in the months ahead.”

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