Wet weather dampens growth for managed restaurants

Britain's leading hospitality groups saw year-on-year growth slow to 3.2% in October amid widespread poor weather, according to the latest CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker. 

While this is the 13th consecutive month of like-for-like growth for managed restaurants, pubs and bars, it represents a slowdown from a 5.9% rise in September when brighter weather encouraged consumers out to eat and drink. By contrast, Storm Babet and the early stages of Storm Ciarán kept some diners and drinkers at home for some periods in October. 

The tracker shows a brighter month for pubs, with fans visiting venues to watch the Rugby World Cup, lifting sales by 5% on numbers from October 2022. Managed restaurants had a softer month with growth of just 2.7%, while the bar segment endured yet another difficult month, with sales down 7.8%. 

For the 18th month in a row, groups achieved better growth in London than elsewhere in the country. Like-for-like sales within the M25 rose by 4.8% compared to 2.7% elsewhere. 

Karl Chessell, director of hospitality operators and food at CGA by NIQ, comments: "Thirteen successive months of year-on-year growth amid a cost of living crisis is encouraging, but there is no escaping the fact that rises are being driven by price rises and remain below inflation. The weather made for challenging trading conditions in many parts of the country, offsetting boosts from occasions like the Rugby World Cup and Halloween. Consumer demand for hospitality remains high, but venues will have to be at the top of their game to achieve real-terms growth over the crucial run-in to Christmas."

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