Weather dampens weekend but footfall high

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Father’s Day weekend: trade was good at UK pubs even though the weather wasn’t perfect (credit: Getty/djiledesign)
Father’s Day weekend: trade was good at UK pubs even though the weather wasn’t perfect (credit: Getty/djiledesign)

Related tags: Multi-site pub operators, Pubco + head office, Gastropub, Freehouse, Food

Trade at pubs during the Father’s Day weekend was good despite predictions for blistering sunshine quickly turning into a damp squib, particularly on Saturday, for many across the UK.

Heath Ball, managing director of the Frisco Group, which operates former winner of Great British Pub of the Year the Red Lion & Sun​ in Highgate, north London, said: “On Friday, everyone seemed to get a bit carried away with the weather and enjoyed it so sales were better than an average Friday.

“The light rain showers Saturday put a dampener on having a bumper Saturday. Father’s Day was a strong Sunday as you would expect, but the weather forecast constantly changing, but broadly predicting rain showers meant we were unable to fully capitalise on using our rear garden.

“As always, customers continue to be a source of ‘amusement’. From those who phoned up on Father’s Day trying to book a table and were surprised when we were full. Through to the two vegetarians that didn’t want any of our three vegetarian main courses, as ‘we don’t like vegetables’, rather asking for pasta and olive oil, as ‘that’s what we usually eat when we go out’. Never a dull moment in this trade.”

Fuel prices impact custom

Meanwhile, Stosie Madi of Lancashire gastropub the Parkers Arms, which is currently the number 2 site in the Top 50 Gastropubs list​, has noticed in a change in footfall times.

She explained: “Trade [at the weekend] was consistent with the past six weeks. No big change. The weather up north was warm but not sunny and, by Saturday, the rain had settled in.

“Over the past six weeks, we have noticed inconsistent trading patterns. There’s been very strange peaks and troughs. We have been extremely busy on a weekday and less busy on a weekend – and fuel prices have certainly impacted our trade because we are very rural.”

People chose the pub

Hertfordshire pub, the Boot at Sarratt – also a former winner at the Great British Pub Awards​ – enjoyed a bumper weekend and managed to make use of its new extension.

Licensee Zoe Eliasson said: “Trade on Friday night was incredible. We had 94 covers in two hours with zero bookings. I expected the great British public to hit the supermarkets and get the barbecues out but, fortunately, they came to the Boot instead.

“Covid cases are rising again so my function cancelled on Saturday but fortunately we were able to fill it with a last-minute, end-of-season football team lunch. The rain didn’t keep people away and fortunately we have just invested in an extension to our pergola. Covid has definitely taught us Brits it is actually OK to sit outside.

“Father’s Day was a dream with a dry warm day, marquee filled with 75 happy function guests and the garden booming, bouncy castle jumped on, treehouse packed full of children and the sound of success from goals scored on our mini football pitch. Long may this gorgeous weather last.”

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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