Pubs prosper on final May bank holiday weekend

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Much-needed custom: good weather and sport helped boost trade at the weekend (credit: getty/Photosomnia)
Much-needed custom: good weather and sport helped boost trade at the weekend (credit: getty/Photosomnia)

Related tags Finance Pubco + head office Beer Lager Cider Stout

A huge weekend of sport combined with great weather ensured the latest bank holiday resulted in strong sales for the on-trade.

Drinkers consumed a whopping 52.8m pints of draught beer and cider across the UK, which was an increase of 10.4% versus the Platinum Jubilee weekend in 2022, according to market intelligence platform Oxford Partnership.

In individual pub terms, it equated to an extra 132 pints sold per pub versus the same period in 2022 and, most importantly, more than £200 extra in the till, Oxford Partnership added.

Across the entire weekend, the average pub served 1,394 pints of draught beer and cider, helped by some glorious weather, and these sales equated to a £6,329 income generator.

World lager helps drive spend

Total beer was up 10.4% v 2022 with the key growth driven by world lager, apple cider and stout. 

World lager was the no.1 winning category with an impressive 36.3% increase v 2022, followed by apple cider, which also performed extremely well, up 24.4% v 2022. 

Stout also had a strong weekend with an uplift of 23% as well as premium lager, which was up 10.9% and the premium 4% category rose 8.6%. 

Oxford Partnership CEO Alison Jordan said: “It was a bumper weekend for sports fans and added to some particularly good weather, the result was a really strong weekend of sales in the on-trade.”

The action-packed sporting weekend saw football promotion and relegation battles, a Premiership rugby final and F1 racing in Monaco.

Spending surge

Meanwhile, research from Barclaycard Payments showed pub and bar transactions were up 27.3% as Brits headed out to socialise and make the most of the warm weather on 27-28 May 2023 compared to 28-29 May 2022.

The bank division, which measures transaction volumes on credit and debit cards, said while volume sales rose by 27.3% at pubs and bars, restaurants saw an increased spend of 11.5%.

Head of Barclaycard Payments Marc Pettican said: “Consumer spending surged over the weekend, especially in the hospitality and leisure sectors, as the arrival of the warmer weather kicked-off more sports and socialising.

“Outdoor activities – such as camping, football and golf – saw a spike in transactions, while pubs, bars and restaurants received a significant boost from Brits getting together with friends and family.

“This uplift in trade will be some welcome news for the hospitality sector amid the ongoing strain of rising energy bills and the impact of the cost of living. Businesses will no doubt remain hopeful that customers continue to offer their support and keep venues busy as we head into the summer season.”

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