, UK

Restaurants, pubs’ like-for-like sales flat in May as cost crisis worsens

London trading builds back, but dine-in sales dip.

Like-for-like sales at Britain’s managed restaurant, pub and bar groups in May were just 0.1% ahead of the pre-COVID-19 levels of 2019, according to the latest Coffer CGA Business Tracker.

The result from May’s Tracker follows like-for-like growth of between 2% and 4% from February to April. But with high levels of inflation since 2019, sales are “significantly behind” pre-pandemic levels in real terms, the producers of the Tracker suggested.
 
Restaurants recorded 2% growth in May, whilst pubs were 1% down and bars were flat, the Tracker—produced by CGA by NielsenIQ in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM UK— showed.
 
Trading in London improved in May, with like-for-like sales flat within the M25. Sales outside the M25, which were well ahead of London for the first four months of the year, were also flat—seen as a sign of a “tightening squeeze on consumers’ spending in many regions.”

Dine-in only sales across all managed groups were 3% lower than in May 2019, whilst the CGA & Slerp Hospitality at Home Tracker—based on a different cohort of businesses—has shown that delivery sales have been four times higher than pre-COVID-19 levels in recent months.
 
CGA collected sales figures directly from 65 companies for the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker.

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