Easter rainstorms bad for pubs, better for restaurants

• Overall market like-for-like sales up just 0.2% 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 collectively saw like-for-likes sales just 0.2% up on Easter last year.

Pubs suffered worse from the weather with like-for-like trading down 1.6% over the four-day holiday, with drink-led pubs and bars down 2.1%. In contrast, restaurant chains had a better time, with a 4.3% boost in like-for-likes.

“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% up on 2014,” added Martin.

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

Mark Sheehan, managing director, Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: "Overall, the industry should not feel too perturbed by the numbers given the mixed weather we experienced and an earlier Easter than last year. Despite this, the outlook for eating and drinking out numbers appears to be much tougher over the coming months than we have seen in 2015, against strong comparables and low confidence from consumers and leisure business owners alike ahead of the referendum. New openings in the restaurant sector especially could mean like for like sales are tough for existing operators."

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, added: “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 restaurant. For many operators however, the prognosis for the sector is probably one of ‘mild, with clouds on the horizon’. With the NLW commencing on 1April 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.”

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.

About Coffer Peach Business Tracker

CGA Peach collects sales figures directly 31 leading companies. Participants include Mitchells & Butlers (owner of Harvester, Toby, Miller & Carter, All Bar One etc), Pizza Hut, Whitbread (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table), Pizza Express, Spirit Group (Flaming Grill, Fayre & Square), TGI Fridays, Casual Dining Group (Café Rouge, Bella Italia, La Tasca, Las Iguanas), Stonegate (Slug & Lettuce, Yates’), Marston’s, Azzurri Restaurants (Zizzi, ASK), Wagamama, YO! Sushi, Prezzo, Novus (Tiger Tiger), Fuller’s, Carluccio’s, Young’s, Living Ventures, Strada, Amber Taverns, Hall & Woodhouse, Gaucho, Intertain (Walkabout), Giraffe, Loungers, Byron, Peach Pub Co, Le Bistrot Pierre, Laine Pub Co and Downing LLP (investment partner of Antic London)

 

Coffer Peach Business Tracker is powered by Demographix

For more comment contact:

Peter Martin, CGA Peach
07825 350249 (mobile)
peter.martin@cgapeach.co.uk

Claudia Cronshaw, Coffer Group
020 7299 0709 (office)
ccronshaw@coffergroup.co.uk

Paul Newman, Head of Leisure and Hospitality, RSM
020 3201 8637
paul.newman@rsmuk.com

Richard Morton, UBS Media Relations
+44 20 7568 0175
richard.morton@ubs.com