16 August 2022

Managed groups’ like-for-like sales remain flat despite continued market turbulence

Total Like For Like Sales Growth
  • Euros and heatwaves maintain pub, bar, and restaurant sales
  • Further rail strikes contribute to poor London performance

 July’s like-for-like (LFL) sales at Britain’s top managed pub, bar and restaurant groups held steady against pre-COVID-19 levels of July 2019, the latest Coffer CGA Business Tracker reveals.

July’s figures were bolstered by the Euros tournament and there were periods of unusually hot weather that positively impacted outlets with outdoor areas, whilst deterring consumers from visiting indoor outlets.

The results from the Tracker—produced by CGA by NielsenIQ in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM UK—represents a drop in like-for-like growth following the strongest month of like-for-like growth this year, and given high levels of inflation since 2019, sales are significantly behind pre-pandemic levels in real terms.

Restaurants were the strongest performing of the Tracker’s three hospitality segments in July, with total sales growth at 4.8% vs July 2019 and like-for-like sales at +1.3% vs three years ago. Managed groups’ dine-in only sales were down -8.0% on a like-for-like basis suggesting performance for the segment was in part supported by consumers opting for deliveries.

Pubs continued to perform reasonably well with total sales growth up 7% but LFL sales growth was down by –0.6%, whilst bars’ fared worse with their LFL sales dropping to -1.7%

The Tracker demonstrates that trading in London continues to struggle, with -2% LFL sales growth, compared to a decline of -1% in June and a flat performance in May. Beyond the M25, LFL sales were 0.7% as ongoing rail strikes continued to significantly reduce footfall into central London.

Overall like-for-likes are flat compared to 4.7% growth in June (which benefited from bank holidays and the Jubilee) and in decline by -3.3% when sales from deliveries and takeaways are removed from this metric.

Karl Chessell, director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA, said: “A flat rate of LFL sales reflects the slow but steady trajectory of the past few months. Operators are acutely aware of the challenges that lie ahead during the second half of 2022. Inflation, rising costs, supply chain issues, and staffing challenges are impacting businesses. But the hospitality sector continues to demonstrate extraordinary resilience and remains an important channel for investment long term.”

Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: “Flat sales on 2019 numbers in the face of rampant inflationary pressure on every front may appear catastrophic but these number show the steady progress hospitality is making. Those that survive may well thrive but for operators these improvements need to continue. 2019 is the benchmark for now but it is not realistic for businesses to survive at these levels. London is improving steadily.  Whilst utilities are a concern, recruitment remains the toughest obstacle for most.”

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM UK, said:

CGA collected sales figures directly from 66 leading companies for the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker.

About the Coffer CGA Business Tracker  

Participants include: All Star Lanes, Amber Taverns, Anglian Country Inns, Azzurri Group (Ask Italian, Zizzi), Banana Tree Restaurants, Beds and Bars, Big Table Group (Bella Italia, Las Iguanas), Bill’s Restaurants, Boparan Restaurant Group (Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen), BrewDog, Buzzworks Holdings Group, Byron, Cityglen Pub Co, Coaching Inn Group Ltd, Cote Restaurants, Dishoom, Dominion Hospitality, East London Pub Co, Five Guys, Fuller Smith & Turner, Gaucho Grill, Giggling Squid, Greene King (Chef & Brewer, Hungry Horse, Flaming Grill), Gusto Restaurants, Hall & Woodhouse, Hawthorn Leisure, Honest Burgers, Individual Restaurants, Junkyard Golf Club, Laine Pub Co, Le Bistrot Pierre, Liberation, Loungers, Marston’s, McMullen & Sons Ltd, Mitchells & Butlers (Harvester, Toby, Miller & Carter, All Bar One), Mowgli, Nando’s Restaurants, New World Trading Company, North Brewing Co, Oakman Inns, Parogon Pub Group, Peach Pubs, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut UK, Prezzo, Punch Pub Co, Rekom UK, Restaurant Group (Frankie & Bennys, Chiquitos, Brunning & Price), Revolution Bars, Riley’s, Rosa’s Thai, Snug Bar, Southern Wind Group (Fazenda),  St Austell, Star Pubs & Bars, State of Play Hospitality, Stonegate Pub Co (Slug & Lettuce, Yates’, Walkabout, Bermondsey Pub Company), Tattu Manchester, TGI Fridays UK, The Alchemist, True North Brew Co, Upham Pub Co, Various Eateries (Strada, Coppa Club), Wagamama, Whitbread (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table), YO! Sushi and Youngs.

About CGA by NielsenIQ:

CGA is the definitive On Premise measurement, insight and research consultancy that empowers the world’s most successful food and drink brands. With more than 30 years’ experience and best-in-class research, data and analytics, CGA is uniquely positioned to help On Premise businesses develop winning strategies for growth.

CGA works with food and beverage suppliers, consumer brand owners, wholesalers, government entities and pub, bar and restaurant retailers to protect and shape the future of the On Premise experience. Its mission is to use phenomenal data and expert insights to give brands a competitive edge and ensure the market we love is the most vibrant possible.

To learn more, visit: www.cgastrategy.com