Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Zero growth for pubs and restaurants in May

Published:  11 June, 2019

UK pubs and restaurants saw trading fall flat in May, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Collective like-for-like sales growth across the market was zero compared to last year.

London saw like-for-like sales down 0.6%. Outside the M25 same-site sales were up a slight 0.2%. Restaurant chains performed better than pubs and bars, with like-for likes up 3.1%, against May last year.

However, pub and bar groups saw collective like-for-likes fall 1.7%, with drink sales down 2.4% and food down 1.6%.

“The public still went out to eat and drink, but only at the same level as last May,” said said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, which produces the Tracker alongside Coffer Group and RSM.

“While this could initially seem like bad news for the market, especially after the positive growth seen in March and April, we have to remember that May 2018 benefitted from consistently good weather and the royal wedding, both boosting performance. Maintaining sales against this positive backdrop, and throughout what is widely acknowledged as tougher trading conditions, is no mean feat.”

Paul Newman, partner and head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, said growth rates have remained “remarkably resilient” throughout May despite Brexit-related uncertainty.

“Operators have experienced much volatility in recent trading with performance fluctuating wildly throughout April, with a late Easter weekend, shifting bank holidays and some extremes of weather to navigate. The overall market remains flat and those who remain open for business will hope to begin to benefit from recent restaurant closures in the months ahead.”

Total sales across the 52 companies in the Tracker, which include the effect of net new openings since this time last year, were ahead 2.4% compared to last May.

Longer-term underlying like-for-like growth was running at 1.7% for the 12 months to the end of May.