1.4% Increase in Hospitality Sales: A Modest Start to 2024

Monday, March 18, 2024

The latest CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker reported a modest 1.4% increase in sales for leading hospitality groups in the United Kingdom during February. 

Following the marginal growth of 0.1% observed in January, this figure indicates a slow start to the year for the sector.

According to CGA by NIQ and RSM UK, a slight sales growth is linked to wavering consumer confidence due to persistent economic and political instability that affects consumers' purchasing behaviors.

With a like-for-like expansion of 2.2% in February, restaurants took the lead in sector performance over bars, which grew by 2.1%.

The bar industry witnessed a sales decline amounting to 7.4% in the previous period. 

The "On The Go" segment experienced a decline of 0.5% compared to the previous month. 

Operators in London reported slightly better sales growth, with groups within the M25 area experiencing a 1.9% increase compared to a 1.3% improvement outside the M25.

"Subdued trading in February shows consumers remain watchful with their discretionary spending." Karl Chessell

Consumers showed caution in their discretionary spending during February, according to Karl Chessell of CGA by NIQ. (Consumer Spending: Watchful)

The combination of adverse weather conditions further impacted the sector, particularly in the "On The Go" segment that relies heavily on outdoor activities.

Paul Newman also mentioned that dwindling budgets and poor weather dampened Valentine's Day celebrations, contributing to the disappointingly slow start to the year.

The recent Spring Budget did little to alleviate the financial pressures faced by both consumers and businesses in the hospitality sector.