Coronation fails to fuel hospitality bookings

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Coronation blues: Many operators reported poor trade (credit: Getty/ AndreasWebber)
Coronation blues: Many operators reported poor trade (credit: Getty/ AndreasWebber)

Related tags Finance Multi-site pub operators

The coronation failed to ignite advance hospitality bookings according to new data, with many operators reporting disappointing trade.

The research was gathered by discovery platform DesignMyNight and booking software Access Collins.

The coronation took place on Saturday 6 May to crown Britain’s first new reigning monarch, King Charles III, in 70 years. Celebrations continued across the bank holiday weekend through to Monday 8 May.

There were 25% fewer booking taken across the platforms than those made for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.

The platforms reported that advance bookings for coronation celebrations​ failed to live up to expectations with numbers significantly below predictions.

For DesignMyNight senior marketing manager Leighanne Bent, this was disappointing.

Troubles ahead

She said: “Numbers were also 17% down on the first May Bank Holiday just a week earlier and it is possible that people chose to make last minute decisions on how to spend the weekend rather than planning ahead.

“With further rail strikes scheduled, this is a big blow for hospitality and the next walkout this Friday (12 May) could disrupt hospitality events,​ especially those planned to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Liverpool."

However, she continued, this could provide an opportunity for more local events to be well supported, and operators should make sure their parties or occasions are as high profile as possible through website listings and social media posts.

At the Plough at Coton, Cambridgeshire, the coronation weekend was not a boost for trade. It was “very, very quiet,” said a spokesperson, and the rain didn’t help matters.

Wind and showers swept across the capital​ on Saturday and Monday. Wet weather meant Brits got drenched at celebrations and the flypast over Buckingham Palace had to be scaled back.

Dampened trade

Operator of the Red Lion in Shepperton Steve Orme had not expected the bank holiday to hike footfall. Lo and behold, it didn’t. The weekend was quieter than usual at the Surrey-based gastropub with a 20% drop from standard trading levels.

Orme put this down to “shocking” weather, as well as the fact many were celebrating the crowning of the King at home BBQs or street parties rather than trips to the pub.

However, according to data from Oxford Partnership, the coronation bank holiday weekend saw drinkers consumer 50.5m pints across the UK, which was a 5.7% increase from the 2022 Jubilee ban holiday.

Marketing director at Amazing Grace, London Bridge, Sammie Ellard-King, said: "We saw a healthy bump in walk in traffic. Most notably Americans who were over to celebrate, Our door sales were 30% up on last week."

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