Trade saw marginal drop in June sales compared to 2019

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Industry insight: when compared with sales data from the same period in 2019, pubs saw relatively similar results (image: Getty/The Good Brigade)
Industry insight: when compared with sales data from the same period in 2019, pubs saw relatively similar results (image: Getty/The Good Brigade)

Related tags: Cga, Legislation, Licensed premises

The managed pub, restaurant and bar market saw a decrease of just 1% in June, compared to the same month in 2019, research has found.

The Coffer CGA Business Tracker, which is produced by CGA in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM, revealed pubs saw a 2% drop in the period, with mixed weather and restrictions counteracting any boost from the UEFA Euro tournament.

Bars saw a more significant decrease and reported sales being down by 11% however, restaurants’ total sales rose by 3% in June.

When comparing May 2021 figures with the same period in 2019, total sales were down by a quarter (26%). However, this improved in June, where the research broke this down to venues inside the M25, which saw a drop of 11% and outside the motorway, where sales rose marginally by 4%.

However, the tracker also reported sales in the 12 months to June 2021 were down by more than a quarter (27%) on the previous year.

Meanwhile, data from the CGA and AlixPartners Market Recovery Monitor found Britain now has 9,000 fewer licensed premises than it did a year ago.

Fragile trade

CGA director of hospitality operators and food EMEA Karl Chessell said: “June’s figures are a testament to the enduring appeal of restaurants, pubs and bars, and the resilience of the businesses behind them.

“With an easing of Covid restrictions imminent, it suggests a bright outlook for the eating and drinking out sector.

“However, rising costs and limited capacity mean many businesses are still struggling ot make a profit and major challenges, including debt burdens and a recruitment crisis are casting a long shadow.

“Hospitality remains fragile and it will need a sustained support and concessions from the Government in the months ahead if it is to help drive the UK’s economic recovery.”

While June’s figures were strong, the future appears to be rocky, Coffer Corporate Leisure managing director Mark Sheehan said.

He added: “Let’s not pretend the road ahead is going to be smooth but what is clear is consumers want to eat and drink out and the trend is upwards. This continues to be a difficult time but optimism remains in the hospitality sector.”

Sales dampening

RSM head of leisure and hospitality Paul Newman echoed these comments, while raising concerns about the finances of businesses.

“June saw a strong return to restaurants and pubs as the heatwave early in the month encouraged many consumers to get out in the sunshine and socialise,” he said.

“The easing of restrictions should provide more opportunities for get-togethers although it’s clear a combination of Brexit, Covid restrictions and Test and Trace continue to have a huge impact on staffing availability.

“This squeeze in the labour market for a sector so heavily dependent on people is likely to dampen sales over the coming months.

“The finances of many operators remain on a knife edge and the Government needs to consider a relaxation of visa barriers for hospitality workers to support the sector’s recovery.”

Related topics: Legislation

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