Easter rainstorms put dampener on pub and restaurant sales

07 April 2016

  • Collective like-for-like sales up just 0.2 per cent on Easter 2015
  • Restaurants do better than pubs, as public keep out of the rain

Wet and stormy weather across Britain put a dampener on people going out to eat and drink over the Easter holiday weekend, latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker show. Leading managed pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-likes sales just 0.2 per cent up on Easter last year.

Pubs suffered worse from the weather with like-for-like trading down 1.6 per cent over the four-day holiday, with drink-led pubs and bars down 2.1 per cent. 

'In contrast, restaurant chains had a better time, with a 4.3 per cent boost in like-for-likes, as the public presumably chose indoor activities like shopping and the cinema rather than going outside,' said Peter Martin, Vice President of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group, RSM and UBS.

'Overall the market shouldn’t be too disappointed, however, considering the severity of the weather and the fact that last year was a bumper Easter, with like-for-likes 5 per cent up on 2014,' added Martin.

Total sales for the four-day period among the 30 companies in the Tracker cohort were up 4.2 per cent on the same period last year, reflecting the impact of new site openings in the market since 2015.

The Coffer Peach Tracker industry sales monitor for the UK pub and restaurant sector collects and analyses monthly performance data from 30 operating groups, and is recognised as the established industry benchmark. CGA Peach is part of CGA Strategy.

Adam Spencer, Associate Director of Corporate Finance, said:

'It appears that those lucky few not stuck in traffic jam chaos over Easter decided to avoid the traditional home cooked roast and instead made for their local eatery.

For many operators however, the prognosis for the sector is probably one of mild, with clouds on the horizon. With the NLW commencing on 1 April and food cost inflation again rearing its head, operators will need to see some positive movement in covers or spend per head (or both) in order to maintain margins. A tough ask in such a competitive environment.'

Participating companies receive a fuller detailed breakdown of monthly trading. To join the cohort contact Molly Nicholas.