Wet and windy Novem­ber hard to swal­low for restau­rants

Yorkshire Post - - BUSINESS -

BRI­TAIN’S pubs and restau­rants were un­der pres­sure last month as bad weather re­duced the num­ber of peo­ple eat­ing out, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey.

Bri­tain’s man­aged pub and restau­rant groups saw collective like-for-sales edge up 0.5 per cent in Novem­ber com­pared with the same month last year, lat­est fig­ures from the Cof­fer Peach Busi­ness Tracker re­veal.

Karl Ches­sell, direc­tor of CGA, the busi­ness in­sight con­sul­tancy that pro­duces the Cof­fer Peach Tracker, said: “The fig­ures show that much of that growth was driven by drinks sales, while eat­ing out in pubs as well as restau­rants is un­der pres­sure.”

Restau­rant groups saw like­for-like sales slip 0.1 per cent, and, while man­aged pubs recorded over­all like-for-like growth of 0.7 per cent, that in­cluded an in­crease in drinks sales of 1.1 per cent. Like-for-like food sales in pubs were down 0.2 per cent in Novem­ber.

“School half-term hol­i­days at the start of the month pro­duced a healthy first week of trad­ing, and with­out that we would have been look­ing at neg­a­tive sales across the board for the month,” added Mr Ches­sell.

Paul New­man, head of leisure and hos­pi­tal­ity at RSM, said: “It was per­haps un­sur­pris­ing that a wet and windy Novem­ber saw din­ers shel­ter­ing at home rather than brav­ing the el­e­ments.

“The restau­rant sec­tor saw vol­ume sales down 2.1 per cent over the month and op­er­a­tors will be re­lieved that the fall in num­ber of cov­ers was largely off­set by higher spend per head by those who did dine out.

“With drinks-led busi­nesses see­ing like-for-like sales growth, the signs are pos­i­tive that the fes­tive trad­ing sea­son will de­liver some wel­come news for the sec­tor.”

“The data sug­gests a lack­lus­tre mar­ket in the run-up to the Gen­eral Elec­tion and Christ­mas,” said Trevor Wat­son, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor, Val­u­a­tions at Davis Cof­fer Lyons. “In Lon­don, op­er­a­tors are hop­ing and ex­pect­ing there to be no sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on leisure spend as a re­sult of the lat­est ter­ror in­ci­dent in the cap­i­tal.

“Op­er­a­tors ev­ery­where are hop­ing that the Gen­eral Elec­tion will re­vive con­sumer con­fi­dence gen­er­ally in the fi­nal run-up to Christ­mas and the New Year. This could lead to much-needed favourable De­cem­ber fig­ures.”

To­tal sales across the 58 com­pa­nies in the Tracker, which in­clude the ef­fect of net new open­ings since this time last year, were ahead 3.0 per cent com­pared with last Novem­ber.

KARL CHES­SELL: School halfterm hol­i­days pro­duced healthy first week of trad­ing in sec­tor.

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