Glasgow’s on-trade growth outstrips London


Glasgow is up there with Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham when it comes to the number of new on-trade licences being granted, according to the new Market Growth Monitor from AlixPartners and CGA Peach.  Glasgow, and the other cities are seeing growth of around 5%, which outstrips the likes of London (3.3%) and Manchester.

The report reveals that there are now more restaurants with licences in Britain than drink-led ‘community locals’ – 27,500 against 26,700. The number of pubs and bars overall fell by 2.6% over the year to just above 53,000.

The good news is, according to Peter Martin, Vice President of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the Monitor in partnership with AlixPartners, “The long-term decline in the total number of licensed premises in Britain – including hotels, clubs, restaurants and other venues selling alcohol on the premises – appears to have bottomed out.”

“Over the last year, total numbers actually increased slightly by a net 965 to just over 124,000, driven largely by the expansion in restaurants. In the previous five years, numbers had fallen by over 8,000,” Martin said.

The first quarterly Monitor figures show that there was growth too in numbers of wine bars, café bars and food-led pubs – the latter increasing by 1.1% over the last 12 months. Branded food pubs saw a 9% growth in numbers – and the bulk of the overall growth in restaurants came from the, largely branded, chain restaurant market.

There was a 4.4% decline in drink-led pubs and bars – including a 5.1% fall in community pub numbers. However, not everything is gloomy in suburbia or rural parts, added Martin. Total numbers of licensed premises were largely unchanged year-on-year, with growth in food-driven sites off setting declines in traditional pubs and bars. The suburbs, in particular, saw a marked ‘move to food’, with a 5.2% increase in those type of operations – not far behind the growth rate in urban centres.

Urban areas were the main focus for the new growth, seeing a 2.9% uplift in licensed premises in the year to June, with food-led sites, including restaurants and pubs, increasing 5.9%, while the numbers of drink-led businesses remained largely static.

For the first time, the number of licensed restaurants outstripped the number of drink-led community pubs – a switch that occurred earlier in 2015.

Regionally, Greater London remains the growth engine. Total numbers grew 3.3%, with food-led businesses up 6.9% over the past 12 months – representing a net increase of almost 500 new licensed businesses.

Category: News
Tags: AlixPartners, CGA Peach, Clubs, Glasgow, hotels, Peach, Peter Martin, Pub, restaurants, rural, urban