• Stonegate set to remain largest pub group in 2021
The 10 largest pubs groups are expected to see +7.0% growth with further consolidation in the pub market, the latest data from the Lumina Intelligence Operator Data Index has revealed.
The report looked at the top 10 pub groups by number of outlets, forecasting that Stonegate would remain the largest estate by the end of 2021, with just over 4,700 pubs, 60% bigger than the second largest pub group, Star Pubs & Bars.
Admiral is forecast to see outlet growth of 71% (+674 outlets) by the end of 2021, following its acquisition of Hawthorn.
Lumina said that despite pent-up consumer demand driving sales post-lockdown, overall turnover among the top 10 pub groups is expected to decline in FY2020/2021 – down 54% compared to 2020.
• LIVE: Two weeks left of furlough scheme
The furlough scheme is set to come to an end on Wednesday 30 September, more than 18 months after it was first introduced.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak first revealed the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme when the pandemic hit the nation in March 2020.
• The great restaurant pricing debate
It was popcorn at the ready for me recently as I saw the argument unfold between Wine Expert Guy Woodward and celebrity chef Tom Kerridge on Twitter.
For those who missed it, Woodward swung the first punch; he ridiculed Chef Tom for describing his restaurant the Hand and Flowers, in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, as ‘unpretentious’ and ‘for everyone to enjoy’ while simultaneously offering a steak and chips for £87 and a crème brulee for £26.50.
Kerridge hit back, retorting that ‘the real cost of dining should be addressed’ and that ‘unpretentious does not mean cheap’.
A very tasty debate indeed (excuse the pun). Perhaps the obvious place to start is that nobody is forcing anyone at gun point to eat at any of Kerridge’s restaurants.
• Mandatory face masks and vaccine passports ‘possibility’ for future
The Government has revealed its autumn and winter plan for managing Covid and it includes a contingency plan should the NHS start to become overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.
The Covid-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan outlines a ‘plan A’, which is focused on the vaccine rollout, including calling 12 to 15-year-olds forward to receive the first dose of their vaccinations.
• Kegs caught in supply crisis
Keg supplies are being hit by the transport crisis that is ravaging the pub and hospitality sector.
The supply chain problems are being caused by a number of issues including the widely reported lack of HGV drivers and the impact of the ‘pingdemic’ on haulage and warehouse workers.
The Road Haulage Association, the road transport trade association, recently revealed that there was a shortage of 100,000 drivers.
While this is affecting beer deliveries it also means that kegs are unable to picked up and refilled for use.