, UK
Photo from Unsplash by Paula Vermeulen.

Hospitality sales flat in January as consumer spending is squeezed 

Restaurants only saw 0.9% growth in January.

Britain’s leading hospitality groups generated like-for-like sales growth of just 0.1% in January, the latest CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker reveals.
According to the report, the flat start to the year indicates pressure on consumers’ spending after a bumper festive season that saw the Tracker finish 8.8% ahead in December 2023. Trading was also constrained by Dry January resolutions, poor weather and further rail strikes.
The Tracker—produced by CGA by NIQ in partnership with RSM UK—indicates like-for-like sales growth of 0.9% for restaurants in January, while pubs’ trading finished 1.5% ahead. After strong growth in December, bars suffered a 13.6% drop in January sales, whilst the on-the-go segment was 1.1% behind.
Trading patterns were even across the country, the Tracker shows. Groups’ sales within the M25 in January were 0.7% up on last year, while sales outside it were exactly flat (0.0%).

“After spending freely in the run-up to Christmas, consumers were clearly watching their outgoings very carefully in January. It is a reminder that whilst people remain eager to eat and drink out when they can, rising costs continue to limit discretionary spending. With hospitality operators’ margins also still squeezed by inflation, the sector needs sustained government support on taxes and other issues if it is to unleash its full potential to invest and create jobs,” Karl Chessell, director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said.

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