Celebrations and early Easter holiday lift hospitality groups to 5.2% growth in March

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Celebrations and early Easter holiday lift hospitality groups to 5.2% growth in March

Related tags Casual dining Multi-site Restaurant Managed pubs Sales Cga

Britain’s top hospitality groups achieved above-inflation like-for-like sales growth of 5.2% in March 2024, the latest CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker reveals.

Many operators will have enjoyed the boost to trading that events such as Mother’s Day and St Patrick’s Day brought, but the high growth metrics seen in the Tracker have been aided by early Easter Bank Holiday revenues falling into March 2024, while last year Easter trading fell into April 2023.
The Tracker shows celebrations delivered particularly strong growth for the managed pub sector, where like-for-like sales were up by 7.2% in March. Growth was softer for restaurants at 3.4%, and the On The Go segment has seen 5.2% decline.
Whilst bars still recorded a decline of 0.5% in March, this is somewhat of an improvement from the 13.6% and 7.4% declines in January and February respectively, showing the impact the early Bank Holiday weekend celebrations and holidays has had on the hospitality sector this month.
For the first month since November, restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved higher growth outside London than within the capital. March sales inside the M25 were 4.0% ahead of last year, but ahead by 5.7% beyond it.

“These figures are encouraging for hospitality after a slow start to 2024 and show that people remain eager to celebrate holidays and special occasions in restaurants, pubs and bars,” says Karl Chessell, a director at CGA by NIQ.

“While spending remains tight for many consumers, we can be cautiously optimistic that their confidence will continue to increase in 2024 in line with an easing of inflation.

“Operators still face severe headwinds, and it may be some time before they generate sustained real-terms growth, but March showed the sector is moving in the right direction.”

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

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