UK pub and bar market expected to make full recovery by 2024

pub & bar

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UK pub and bar market expected to make full recovery by 2024 Lumina Intelligence UK Pub & Bar Market Report 2021

Related tags: Lumina Intelligence, Uk pub market, Pub & bar

The UK pub and bar market will recover to nearly two thirds of its pre-pandemic value in 2021 with a full recovery expected by 2024, according to Lumina Intelligence.

Figures from the Lumina Intelligence UK Pub & Bar Market Report 2021​ show the market is set to grow to a value of £14.8bn this year, a recovery to 64% of the £23.0bn it was worth before the Coronavirus pandemic started.

A dampened start to 2021 with a national lockdown and restrictions on trading until July will hamper the sectors ability for a faster recovery. However, managed, branded and franchised pubs are set for the strongest recovery (+64%) in 2021, with a greater proportion of sites able to capitalise on delivery and takeaway opportunities in the first half of the year.

The top 10 pub groups by turnover are expected to see considerable turnover decline in their 2020/21 financial years, led by closures and trading restrictions across the period. Whitbread, Marston’s and Mitchells & Butlers are among those seeing the largest turnover decline.

In contrast, outlet growth among the largest pub groups by outlets is expected to be up by 1.6%, with Admiral Taverns adding 674 pubs to its estate through its acquisition of Hawthorn.

Drinks-only occasions are vastly more important to pubs than the average hospitality channel – accounting for 42% of visits. Dinner is the most important meal, accounting for 24% of all pub and bar occasions.

The report says that pubs 'can capitalise on the dinner day part by offering dinner and drink deals to encourage customers on a drink only mission to also purchase a meal'.

Lunch accounts for 22% and breakfast 3% of total occasions, however, there is an opportunity to boost breakfast and lunch sales through 'work from home' lunch and Wi Fi deals, which many pub and bar operators have introduced over the past 18 months.

Nearly half of consumers (44%) agree that 'using a mobile app/QR code to order from the table in pubs and bars is more convenient than ordering at the bar from staff', while 45% agree that it 'is faster than ordering at the bar'.

In total, just over a third (34%) would like to keep using digital in pubs, which rises to 38% among 18-24 year-olds and 45% for 25-34 year-olds.

By 2024, the UK pub and bar market will have recovered to and exceeded its 2019 market value, according to the report.

Year-on-year, the total UK pub market is expected to grow by 51.8% in 2022, reaching a value of £22.4bn. Thereafter growth will stabilise at around the 2% mark ahead of reaching a value of £23.4bn in 2024.

“Despite a catastrophic last 18 months, the UK’s love affair with pubs remains intact and will see the market not only fully recover by 2024, but also outpace value growth in the total eating out market,” says Katherine Prowse, senior insight manager at Lumina Intelligence, 

“The legacies of the pandemic present significant opportunities to operators and will remain key to market recovery.

"Delivery accounted for 50% of pub/bar occasions during lockdown and offers operators the chance to broaden its consumer base.

"The adoption of digital has resulted in a quicker, more seamless customer journey, which many customers are now used to and prefer. As well as offering a better experience, digital ordering and payment gives operators access to valuable data that allows them to understand their customers better."

Find out more about the Lumina Intelligence UK Pub & Bar Market Report 2021 ​by clicking here​.

Related topics: Trends & Reports, Pub & Bar

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