Weathering the storm: Rain has mixed impact on UK pub sector

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, Public house, Uk

Wet-led: The Orchid Group has reported the recent run of bad weather and rain has actually helped a number of its pubs
Wet-led: The Orchid Group has reported the recent run of bad weather and rain has actually helped a number of its pubs
While a number of operators bemoan bad weather and the UK hospitality industry begins to assess the impact of yet another wet British Bank Holiday weekend, The Orchid Group has revealed the recent rain is actually helping to boost sales.

According to the company the lack of sunshine has actually benefited its family free house dining pubs, which include the branded play areas -  'Fuzzy Ed’s Funhouses'.

"In general, pubs with Funhouses are seeing an upwards sales trend, but this has become even more prominent during the wet summer holidays so far," said Bella Kirkton, marketing executive for free house dining at The Orchid Group. 

Wet weather

Across the group, visits to pubs with the play areas are up by 2 per cent. However The Bobbin Mill pub in Renfrewshire has experienced a year-on-year sales boost of 21.3 per cent over the summer holidays. Sales at the Perdiswell site in Worcester are also up by 21 per cent.

According to the operator, the sales increases have been even greater during wet weather with around 200 youngsters visiting the Renfrewshire site in one week and around 400 families heading to the Worcester pub during the first week of the month.

The Orchid Group has also introduced a loyalty scheme and a weekly family day to take advantage of the trade growth area and it will be introducing new training for staff along with new customer offers in the autumn and winter when the weather outside declines again.

Raining in trade

The Orchid Group has bucked a trend in recent weeks and months for pub operators attributing a poor trading performance to the rain and drinkers preferring to stay at home rather than venture to their local.

The impact of the weather on the hospitality industry does not appear to be limited to the pub trade either with recent reports blaming the rain on trading changes in the eating out sector​ and also UK hotel performance.​In July Le Bouchon Breton restaurant closed​ despite a recent rebranding and 'explosion' in business with the directors of the business blaming the recession and the heavy rainfall.

Related topics: Business, Pubs & Bars, Trends & Reports

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