Like-for-like sales at hospitality groups in March 2022 were 4% higher than in March 2019, according to new Coffer CGA Business Tracker, marking a gradual upturn this year, after a like-for-like drop of 1% in January and 3% growth in February.
Bars performed the strongest of the Tracker’s three sectors in March, with like-for-like sales growth of 8%. Restaurants were close behind with 6% growth, thanks in large part to flourishing delivery sales, while pubs were up 2%.
Trading in London continues to lag well behind other parts of the country, the Coffer CGA Business Tracker shows. Managed groups’ like-for-like sales inside the M25 in March were flat, compared to 6% growth beyond the M25.
“Two years on from the start of the pandemic and unprecedented turmoil in hospitality, these figures show managed groups are building back steadily,” says Karl Chessell, director, hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see bars performing so well, as people return to late-night visits. However, like-for-like figures are well below inflation, and with soaring costs in energy, food and other areas hurting both operators and consumers, real-terms growth will be extremely challenging for some time.”
“Whilst restaurant and bar sales are continuing to increase, these numbers are well below inflation,” adds Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure.
“After a long challenging period for operators the recovery is slow, and the challenges faced by the sector are wide. These numbers are improving though and returning workers and tourists in increasing numbers should help lift London over the coming months.”
CGA collected sales figures directly from 59 leading companies for the March edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker.