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Looking Back, Forging Ahead Q&A: Owen Morgan, 44 Group

Published:  08 December, 2023

Following another eventful year for the drinks trade, Owen Morgan, director of Spain-focused 44 Group, reflects on the highs and lows of 2023, plus hopes and plans for the year ahead, in our annual Q&A series.

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Record Christmas bookings for Drake & Morgan

Published:  07 December, 2023

Drake & Morgan, the London-based bar and restaurant group backed by Bowmark Capital has announced record bookings for Christmas 2023, sounding a note of optimism in an otherwise challenging environment.

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Scotland calls out government for pubs closing at twice the rate of England

Published:  05 December, 2023

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) have issued a joint appeal to support their sector after it emerged that English businesses will receive a 75% reduction in rates bills for the financial year 2024-25.

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Live gigging could unlock £2.4bn boost for UK pubs and bars

Published:  29 November, 2023

A new CGA report published today (29 November) has revealed that gigging in the hospitality sector could be the catalyst for a multi-billion pound boost to venues. 

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Deliveries worth 15p per pound of restaurant spend

Published:  22 November, 2023

Delivery and takeaway sales at Britain’s leading managed restaurant groups rose 5% year-on-year in October 2023, according to CGA by NIQ’s Hospitality at Home Tracker.

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Nick Gillett: Competitive socialising – novelty or here to stay?

Published:  17 November, 2023

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Consumers seek affordable drink-only occasions Lumina finds

Published:  14 November, 2023

The latest Lumina research has revealed that consumers are opting for affordable drink-only occasions, with pubs and bars seeing the most notable share growth year-on-year, up 1.3% in Q3.

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Hospitality closures fall in third quarter

Published:  07 November, 2023

The Hospitality Market Monitor from CGA by NIQ and AlixPartners has recorded a fall in licensed premises of 0.3% – the equivalent of three net closures a day, in the third quarter.

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Insolvencies peak driven by hospitality and retail

Published:  01 November, 2023

Newly released figures from the Insolvency Service show that a higher rate of UK insolvencies over the 12 months have been driven by pressures in consumer facing industries such as leisure, hospitality and retail. However, research suggests the worst might now be in the rear-view mirror, with an easing now expected to follow as the industry works through some of its core challenges.

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Customer loyalty reins supreme in cost-of-living crisis

Published:  31 October, 2023

New research has unveiled the importance of providing consistently good experiences in hospitality, with nearly half of consumers saying just one or two bad experiences at a hospitality venue would cause them to feel less loyal to a brand.

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Licenced premises down by a third since 2003

Published:  30 October, 2023

The number of licenced premises in Britain has fallen below 100,000, marking a 31% decline in the two decades since 2003.

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Scotland’s call to government as hospitality faces ‘continued barrage of challenges’

Published:  03 October, 2023

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) is pleading for more support to help protect the hospitality sector, as venues report the crippling impact of staff vacancies and ‘a continued wave of cost increases’.

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Hospitality leaders hold on to optimism as inflation slows

Published:  20 September, 2023

Confidence is rising slightly among hospitality owners, new data suggest, despite inflation slowing at a ‘glacial’ pace and economic pressures in the offing, which could potentially leave the sector with a ‘billion-pound bill’.

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Looking Back, Forging Ahead Q&A: Bella Babbit, NoMad London

Published:  21 August, 2023

Midway through 2023, Harpers is taking stock of yet another turbulent year for the drinks trade, with plenty of highs and lows, so far. We continue our series with Bella Babbit, wine director, NoMad London, to find out how the year as gone so far, and what the remainder may bring.

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Vacancies fall while prices rise for hospitality

Published:  16 August, 2023

The rate of overall UK inflation experienced a sharp fall to 6.8% in July – the same month which marked the fourth consecutive reduction in vacancies for hospitality. However, the sector is still facing numerous challenges.

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Lipstick effect brightens up sales of alcohol – until reality (duty) bites?

Published:  09 August, 2023

Economic depression tends to lead consumers to splash out on little luxuries. This is the idea behind the ‘lipstick effect’, coined by Estée Lauder’s Leonard Lauder to describe the rocketing rise of lipsticks in 2008, post the 9/11 attacks in New York and while global markets teetered on the brink of financial meltdown. By extension – and with the cost of living and wage stagnation pushing prices higher – alcohol still seems to fall within a comparatively ‘affordable luxury’ bracket.

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Stamp scheme generates £32k for Cardiff indies

Published:  09 August, 2023

Since its launch just over a year ago, the Cardiff Wine Passport has generated more than £32,000 in revenue for independent restaurants and bars in Cardiff.

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Nick Gillett: How the duty rise reveals the lack of duty to business

Published:  08 August, 2023

It doesn’t seem to matter what flavour of government you have at the moment – when it comes to the spirits and hospitality industries, there’s a stench of incompetence. In Scotland we have the incredibly public failure of the DRS scheme, which, as a result, has wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. But don’t be fooled – it really is no better, south of the border. Westminster will raise you a cock up, in the form of the increased duty rates.

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Pub closures surge again in Q2 breaking Q1 record

Published:  07 August, 2023

Pub closures reached back-to-back quarterly records in Q2 2023, smashing the previous unwanted benchmark set in Q1.

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UK chains enjoy profit increase

Published:  07 August, 2023

According to research from UHY Hacker Young, the UK’s Top 100 restaurant groups have recorded a twelvefold increase in their profits in the last six months, rising from £19.9m in September 2022 to £241.8m in March 2023.

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