, UK
Photo from Unsplash by Paula Vermeulen.

Managed restaurants, pubs, and bars double growth in December

For the 12th time in the last 13 months, growth in London was higher than elsewhere.

Britain’s top hospitality groups generated year-on-year sales growth of 8.8% in December a sharp increase from 4% in November, according to latest CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker reveals.
This is also more than double the current rate of inflation in the UK, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
The Tracker—produced by CGA by NIQ in partnership with RSM UK—reveals like-for-like sales growth of 9.6%for pubs in December, whilst restaurants enjoyed an 8.3% upswing. Bars bounced back from a long run of negative figures with growth of 5.6%. Trading in the On The Go segment—a new segment for the Tracker—was 3.1%ahead.
For the 12th time in the last 13 months, growth in London was higher than elsewhere. Groups’ sales within the M25 in December were 11.2% up on last year, compared to an 8.1% increase outside it.

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Karl Chessell, director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said the December results were a welcome sign that pressure consumers’ spending may be easing. 

“The extra revenue is vital to groups as we enter quieter trading months. However, cost and labour issues mean some businesses remain under severe pressure. All operators will need to stay resolutely focused on the fundamentals of great hospitality in order to sustain real-terms growth throughout 2024,” Chessell said.

"A bumper Christmas doesn’t resolve ongoing challenges for the sector, particularly for smaller independent operators as they struggle to cope with the growing cost of borrowing, energy bills and ingredients. The first quarter is always a particularly acute time for the hospitality sector, with lower footfall, quarterly rent payments and higher VAT bills which have already been blamed for the closure of several high-profile restaurants. To have navigated the market post-COVID only to fail now is heart-wrenching for these owners and further casualties look inevitable as hikes in national living wages and business rates from April make more businesses unviable,” Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM UK, said.

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