Managed groups see 'significant' September sales bounce

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Managed restaurant, pub and bar groups see 'significant' September sales bounce

Related tags Managed pubs Restaurant Pub & bar Casual dining Cga Coronavirus

Britain’s managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved a significant bounce in sales in September, the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker reveals.

The Tracker, produced by CGA in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM, shows total sales were 8% up on the pre-pandemic levels of September 2019. They were 42% higher than in September 2020, when businesses were operating under strict Covid restrictions.

It marks a second successive month of year-on-year increases, with restaurants and pubs each recording total sales growth of 8%.

For pubs, it was a notable improvement on growth of 3% in August 2021. Bars were again the best performing segment of all, following the easing of restrictions on the late-night sector in July.

September trading was boosted by growing consumer confidence about safety and spending, good weather in many areas and ongoing staycations.

However, there was a clear gap in performance between London, where sales dropped 1% on September 2019, and the rest of the country, where they were up 12%. It indicates that the capital continues to be affected by a shortage of office workers and international tourists. 

Managed groups in all parts of the country faced mounting challenges on many fronts in September, including staff shortages, supply chain disruption and inflation in key cost areas.

The Tracker also highlights the long-term impact of the Covid crisis, with managed groups’ rolling 12-month sales to the end of September 2021 down by 10% on the 12 months before that.

“These figures demonstrate the resilience of managed restaurants, pubs and bars in the face of strong headwinds, and show consumers’ appetite for eating and drinking out remains high," says Karl Chessell, director at CGA.

"It’s especially pleasing to see revitalised sales for bars after enduring restricted trading for so long.

"However, difficulties for London and a 10% shortfall in rolling 12-month sales are reminders that we are not yet out of the woods.

"Many businesses remain under severe pressure from operational issues and debts, and they deserve targeted and sustained government support to sustain their recovery.”

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