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Consumers shun restaurants at Easter, figures show

Published:  13 May, 2019

Restaurant groups saw sales plummet by nearly 20% this Easter, according to figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Sales fell 19.4% compared to Easter 2018, with the overall eating-and-drinking out market shrinking 3.6%. The decline in restaurant sales was offset in part by pub and bar chains recording a 5.3% rise in sales, the data reveals.

Drinks-led pubs posted a 10.9% rise, thanks in part to the good weather over the four-day weekend.

“You simply can’t escape the fact that weather always has a major influence on the fortunes of the pub and restaurant sector – and what’s good for pubs is rarely good for restaurants,” said Karl Chessell, director of research consultancy CGA, which produces the tracker in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM. “These Easter figures just underline that reality.”

Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: “The numbers overall show the pressure the hospitality sector is under – like many other sectors relying on consumer confidence.

“Pubs trade well when consumer confidence is low, but the restaurant sector is also affected by the retail woes we are seeing. This could be a difficult summer whilst we have no resolution to Brexit,” he said.

The Coffer Peach Business Tracker monitors sales data for some 50 groups in the UK pub, bar and restaurant sector, which collectively have a turnover in excess of £9 billion.