, UK
Photo from Unsplash by Craig Whitehead.

Top hospitality group sales slip 1.7% over wet weather

It is the first year-on-year drop in monthly sales since September 2022.

Britain’s top hospitality groups saw sales drop 1.7% year-on-year in April 2024 after widespread wet weather, the new CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker revealed.

It is the first year-on-year drop in monthly sales since September 2022 and a sharp contrast with March, when groups achieved 5.2% growth thanks to drier weather and an early Easter. According to CGA’s report, last month faced tough comparatives with April 2023, which included the full Easter holiday. 

“Slightly weaker sales may also suggest that some consumers remain hesitant about their spending despite an easing of inflation in recent months,” the report said.

The tracker shows the impact of the weather on pubs, where sales were 1.5% down as consumers stayed away from beer gardens and terraces. Restaurants, which sometimes benefit from wetter weather, achieved modest like-for-like growth of 1.2%. Bars were hit hardest, with sales dropping 15.1% below the levels of April 2023. The on-the-go segment was down by 4.2%.

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Hospitality groups performed better in London than elsewhere, the Tracker shows. April sales inside the M25 were 0.3% ahead of last year, but down by 2.2% beyond the M25.

According to Karl Chessell, director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, the results are a reminder of the very close correlation between the weather and sales and a sign that consumers have been saving their eating and drinking out for special occasions and holidays like Easter. 

“Brighter weather in May should help to encourage more people out to eat and drink, and the medium to long term outlook for hospitality remains good—but it’s clear that businesses and consumers alike continue to face some severe cost pressures,” Chessell added.

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