Sales drop 11% in December across Britains managed premises

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Britain’s managed pubs, restaurants and bars saw total sales drop 11% in December due to widespread cancellations in what should have been the trade’s busiest month, according to the latest Coffer CGA Business Tracker from CGA, The Coffer Group and RSM.  This followed four successive months of growth, and shows the damaging impact of the Omicron variant on the hospitality sector, as many consumers opted to stay at home in the run-up to Christmas.

Managed pubs and bars had a particularly tough month, with sales down 12% and 19% respectively, while managed restaurants saw sales down 8%.

Karl Chessell, director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA, said: “These figures show the hugely damaging impact of consumers’ anxiety and restrictions on trading at what should have been the busiest time of year. Restaurant groups in particular did well to shore up sales as much as they did, but on top of rising costs, supply problems and staff challenges, the difficult December leaves many businesses without the buffer of cash they would normally rely on in January. Demand for eating and drinking out remains strong, but the sector needs support on tax and other pressures if it is to help power the UK’s economic recovery when COVID-19 restrictions finally ease.”

The Tracker comes as figures from the ONS reveal that inflation hit 5.4% in December, a level not seen since March 1992. According to the ONS the consumer price rise was driven by food and non-alcoholic beverages, restaurants and hotels, furniture and household goods, and clothing and footwear.

Meanwhile, JD Wetherspoon is set to record a loss for the first half of the year with like-for-like sales falling by 11.7 per cent in the 25 weeks to 16 January, with second-quarter sales impacted the restrictions imposed in December due to the Omicron variant.

Category: Coronavirus, News
Tags: Coffer CGA Business Tracker, Omnicron, ONS