8 April 2013

Easter Delivers Big Sales Boost for Resaurant and Pub Groups

The Easter weekend provided a welcome boost for Britain’s leading restaurant and pub groups. Collective like-for-like sales were up 7.0% on the four-day Easter holiday last year. Total sales, which include the impact of new site openings, were ahead 10.4%, according to Coffer Peach Business Tracker figures.

Restaurant chains performed best, with collective like-for-likes up 9.0% and total sales ahead 14.6%. Even so, pub groups still saw collective like-for-likes 6.2% ahead of Easter 2012, with total sales up 8.8%.

A combination of drier, if colder, weather and the start of school holidays appear to have been the main drivers.

“The weather again played a big part,” said Peter Martin of Peach Factory , the business intelligence specialist that produces the sector Tracker, the sector’s biggest and most comprehensive performance barometer, in partnership with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS .

“Although this Easter was bitterly cold, it was sunnier and drier than the Easter weekend last year, which was generally wet and miserable. People seemed much happier, if not relieved after last month’s snow, to get out and about,” Martin said.

“Last year, Easter was also a week later, from April 6 to 9, and came at the end of, and even in some parts of the country after, the school break. For most families, this year it kicked off the holidays.”

For this special Easter survey, the Coffer Peach Business Tracker collected sales data from 22 leading restaurant, pub and bar groups across the UK (see below).

Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: “Easter 2013 was a good weekend for both restaurants and pubs, and the hospitality sector now awaits the beginning of Spring, which when it arrives will benefit many operators with outside space, with weak comparables against the wettest Spring on record in 2012.”

Paul Newman, co-head of leisure & hospitality at Baker Tilly, added: “The impact of the gale force winds and snow storms in 2012 cannot be understated and we see these strong LFLs as more of a return to the long run average. Having one fewer bank holiday to look forward to this year may have also spurred consumers to make the most of their free time during a continuing poor macroeconomic, and meteorological, outlook.”

The Coffer Peach Tracker industry sales monitor for the UK pub and restaurant sector collects and analyses sales performance data from operating groups, representing combined annual turnover of £6.4 billion, and is recognised as the established industry benchmark.

For the Easter snapshot survey, Peach Factory collected sales figures directly from 22 leading companies, including: Mitchells & Butlers (owner of Harvester, Toby, Browns, All Bar One etc), Pizza Hut, Whitbread (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table), Gondola (PizzaExpress, Zizzi, ASK, Byron), Tragus (Café Rouge, Bella Italia, Strada), Stonegate (Slug & Lettuce, Yates’), Marston’s, Orchid Pub Co, Wagamama, YO! Sushi, Novus (Tiger Tiger), Fuller’s, Bramwell Pub Co, Carluccio’s, Young’s, Living Ventures, Amber Taverns, Hall & Woodhouse, Las Iguanas, Intertain, Tattershall Castle Group and La Tasca.