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Hospitality sales climb 4% in top UK cities as Manchester tops rankings

Published:  11 November, 2022

Pubs, bars, and restaurants are recording positive sales in Britain’s major cities — but high inflation is making real-terms growth very difficult.

The latest ‘Top Cities’ report from hospitality research experts CGA by NielsenIQ and Wireless Social shows combined sales in Britain’s 10 most populous cities in the four weeks to 22 October 2022 were 4% higher than in the same period in 2019. Seven of the 10 cities recorded growth.

The total number is in line with figures recorded by the separate Coffer CGA Business Tracker in recent weeks, as reported by Harpers. However, with Britain’s inflation rate now exceeding 10%, sales are well below pre-Covid comparatives in real terms. Logins are also still significantly short of the levels of 2019.

The ’Top Cities’ report combines sales data from CGA and device log-in statistics from Wireless Social to provide a ‘vibrancy’ ranking of the top 10 cities. Manchester tops the list ahead of Birmingham, which makes the top two for the fourth time in a row. Both cities recorded double-digit sales growth in the latest four-week period.

At the other end of the spectrum, London is bottom for the third period in a row, with both sales and device check-ins still short of pre-covid levels, though both metrics are now moving closer to 2019’s numbers.

CGA client director Chris Jeffrey said: “Our latest report confirms that public demand for eating and drinking out is stable. It highlights hospitality’s huge contribution to the vibrancy of city centres. 

“However, with consumers’ spending under pressure from rising costs in energy, food, mortgages and more, the post-Covid recovery will come under severe strain in the months ahead. 

“Businesses have a crucial role to play in Britain’s economic growth, but they need targeted support to help them through these unprecedented challenges.”

The report is based on a combination of sales data from CGA’s Managed Volume Pool of more than 8,000 pubs, bars and restaurants, and Wireless Social’s guest data gathered from more than one million log-ins.

Britain’s 10 biggest cities, ranked by vibrancy

Rankings for the four weeks to 22 October 2022. Numbers in brackets indicate position for the previous four-week period.

1 Manchester (3)

2 Birmingham (1)

3 Glasgow (2)

4 Leicester (5)

5 Bristol (4)

6 Edinburgh (6)

7 Leeds (9)

8 Sheffield (8)

9 Liverpool (7)

10 London (10)