Easter heatwave bolsters UK bar and pub sales

13th May, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

A scorching Easter bank holiday weekend last month helped UK bar and pub chains grow sales by 5.3%, according to new data.

Brits flocked to bar and pubs during the hot Easter weekend

The latest figures from CGA’s Coffer Peach Business Tracker covered the four-day period from Friday 19 April to Monday 22 April 2019.

The hot weather helped drinks-led pubs increase sales by 10.9% compared to the same period last year.

But while pubs and bars performed well, restaurant groups in the UK saw sales drop 19.4% during the Easter weekend.

The overall eating- and drinking-out sector fell by 3.6% over the four-day weekend.

“You simply can’t escape the fact that weather always has a major influence on the fortunes of the pub and restaurant sector – and what’s good for pubs is rarely good for restaurants. These Easter figures just underline that reality,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA.

For the month of April, the managed pub, bar, and restaurant sector together grew by 1.1% compared to the same period in 2018. Pubs and bars were up 2.1%, while restaurant groups fell by 0.7%.

“Within the pub grouping, drink sales were ahead 2.7%, with food up a more modest 0.8%,” said Chessell.

Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “The Easter numbers are difficult to measure because of the contrasting weather year-on-year and later Easter.

“The April numbers overall though were down and show the pressure the hospitality sector is under – like many other sectors relying on consumer confidence.

“Pubs trade well when consumer confidence is low, but the restaurant sector is also affected by the retail woes we are seeing. This could be a difficult summer whilst we have no resolution to Brexit.”

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