Despite strong sales growth during the festive period, the high cost of doing business has meant hospitality businesses are 'struggling to stay afloat' and are having to take cost-saving measures to maintain profitability, data from technology solutions business Fourth shows.
Net sales revenue grew by 6.1% in fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, with December sales particularly strong across the industry, rising 10.5% year-on-year.
Sales in restaurants rose by 2.9% in November, according to Fourth, with sales up 6.4% in December. Weekday trading levels increased across the sector in fourth quarter of last year 2023, revenue growing by 4.5% between Mondays and Thursdays and weekend sales up 1.5% on Fridays and Saturdays during the quarter.
However, despite these increases food price inflation has also led to challenges such as a decline in headcount and total hours worked, says Fourth.
“With the festive trading period being such a crucial time for hospitality, it’s fantastic to see such a significant growth in sales compared to 2022. These figures can hopefully provide operators with a sense of cautious optimism as we head into 2024," says Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA at Fourth.
“However, the high cost of doing business across the sector continues to be a major concern for operators, who are looking to control costs in an effort to remain profitable during this turbulent economic period."