Wet weather dampens hospitality groups as year-on-year sales slip 1.7% in April

22 May 2024

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 reveals.

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. 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 Tracker—produced by CGA by NIQ in partnership with RSM UK—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 4.2% down.

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.

Saxon Moseley, Head of leisure and hospitality at RSM UK, said: ‘April’s poor results will undoubtably have been impacted by the early Easter break which largely fell into the previous month, but poor weather and sluggish consumer confidence will also have contributed to the first like for like reduction in sales since 2022. 

Whilst there are reasons to be optimistic later in the year with consumer confidence set to rise on the back of wages rising in real terms and interest rates beginning to fall, April’s disappointing results will do little to lift spirits after what was already a lacklustre first quarter for many. The industry desperately needs a prolonged spell of dry, warm weather as a prelude to a long summer of sporting events, bringing supporters together in their local pubs and bars.’

Karl Chessell, director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said: ‘After eighteen consecutive months of year-on-year growth, the hospitality had a challenging April. It’s a reminder of the very close correlation between the weather and sales, and a sign that some 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.’

CGA by NIQ collected sales figures directly from 108 leading managed groups for March’s edition of the CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker, which provides authoritative monthly insights into Britain’s restaurant, pub and bar sales. Companies participating in the Tracker receive a fuller breakdown of trading that helps to benchmark performance and understand market trends. To join the cohort, contact Andy Dean at andy.dean@nielseniq.com

Participants in the CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker: Adventure Bars, Adventure Leisure Ltd, All Star Lanes, Amber Taverns, Anglian Country Inns, Arc Inspirations, Azzurri Group (Ask Italian, Coco di Mama, Zizzi), Ballie Ballerson, Banana Tree Restaurants, Barburrito, Beds and Bars, Big Fang Collective, Big Table Group (Bella Italia, Chiquito, Frankie & Benny’s, Las Iguanas), Bill’s Restaurants, Boxpark, BrewDog, Burger & Lobster, Buzzworks Holdings Group, Byron, Chopstix, Coaching Inn Group Ltd, Comptoir Group Plc, Cote Restaurants, Creams Café, Darwin & Wallace, Dishoom, , Five Guys, Fortnum & Mason, Fuller Smith & Turner, Gaucho Grill, Giggling Squid, Greene King (Chef & Brewer, Hungry Horse, Flaming Grill), Gusto Restaurants, Hall & Woodhouse, Hawthorn Leisure, Heartwood Collection, Honest Burgers, HOP Vietnamese, Individual Restaurants, Island Poké, Junkyard Golf Club, Kibou, Laine Pub Co, Le Bistrot Pierre, Liberation, Lina Stores, Loungers, Lucky Voice, Marston’s, McMullen & Sons Ltd, Mildreds, Mission Mars, Mitchells & Butlers (Harvester, Toby, Miller & Carter, All Bar One), MJMK Restaurants, Mojo Bar, Mowgli, Nando’s Restaurants, New World Trading Company, North Brewing Co, NQ64 Arcade Bars, Oakman Inns, Parogon Pub Group, Peach Pubs, Pho, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut UK, Portobello Starboard Ltd, Prezzo, Punch Pub Co, Pure, Rekom UK, Revolution Bars, Rick Stein Restaurants, Riley’s, , Rosa’s Thai, Roxy Leisure, San Carlo, Shepherd Neame, Simmons Bars Group, Snug Bar, Southern Wind Group (Fazenda),  St Austell, Star Pubs & Bars, State of Play Hospitality, Stonegate Pub Co (Slug & Lettuce, Yates’, Walkabout, Bermondsey Pub Company), Tasty Plc, TGI Fridays UK, The Alchemist, The Restaurant Group, Thunderbird Fried Chicken, Tonkotsu, Tortilla, Treetop Golf,, Upham Pub Co, Various Eateries (Strada, Coppa Club), Village Hotels, Wagamama, Wasabi, Wells & Co, Whitbread (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table), Wingstop, YO! Sushi, Young’s and Yummy Collection

About CGA by NIQ

CGA by NIQ provides definitive On Premise consumer intelligence that reveals new pathways to growth for the world’s most successful food and drink brands. With more than 30 years of best-in-class research, data, and analytics, CGA by NIQ provides the Full View(TM).

CGA by NIQ works with food and beverage suppliers, consumer brand owners, wholesalers, government entities, pubs, bars, and restaurants to protect and shape the future of the On Premise experience. Using the most complete and clear understanding of measurement and insights, CGA by NIQ provides a competitive edge to guide winning strategies for On Premise businesses.

NIQ was founded in 1923 and is an Advent International portfolio company. For more information, visit www.NIQ.com or www.cgastrategy.com.   

Saxon Mosely
Saxon Moseley
Partner, Head of leisure and hospitality
Saxon Mosely
Saxon Moseley
Partner, Head of leisure and hospitality