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

Hospitality sales up 4% YOY in November

Published:  13 December, 2023

Britain’s leading hospitality groups achieved year-on-year (YOY) sales growth of 4% in November, the new CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker has revealed.

It means restaurant, pub and bar groups have now achieved 14 months of like-for-like sales growth in a row. 

In a boost for the Christmas trade, the November figures mark a 3.2% increase from October and is close to the current rate of inflation in the UK, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

Pubs led the way with a like-for-like sales growth of 5% compared to November 2022, and restaurants weren’t far behind with a 4.9% increase over the same period. Meanwhile, bars continue to struggle in 2023 with a 6.9% decline YOY.

The positive sales growth for November should quell some fears in the on-trade that the Christmas trading window is getting shorter.

Speaking to Harpers in last month’s magazine edition, Andres Ituarte, head sommelier at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, said: “The Christmas lights go up earlier, but the season in a restaurant seems to be getting shorter. Now it’s just a few weeks: late November to mid-December.”

For the first time in 2023, total sales growth in the Tracker was slower in London than in the rest of the country. Groups’ sales within the M25 in November were 3.5% up on last year, slightly behind the increase of 4.2% elsewhere.

Karl Chessell, director of hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said: “November’s solid growth raises hopes that consumers are starting to spend a little more freely, and that hospitality might move into consistent real-terms growth in 2024. 

“However, with the sector still besieged by relentlessly high costs, conditions will stay challenging for some time to come. Christmas trading can make the difference between a modest year and a good one, so all businesses will be hoping that consumers’ celebratory mood translates into confident spending on eating and drinking out.”

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM UK, added: “Given the miserable weather that dampened spirits in the early weeks of November and the tough comparisons with 2022's FIFA World Cup boosts, these year-on-year increases in sales will be viewed with quiet optimism as the Christmas party season gets into full swing.

“Large businesses are shunning all-staff corporate gatherings which are being replaced with smaller team celebrations, sparking a surge in bookings for pubs and restaurants which are better placed to host such events. After years of Covid restrictions, operators are all set for partygoers to splash their cash this December despite an uncertain economic outlook.”