Pub sales fell by three percent in frozen March

It seems as though the recent cold snap in March affected pubs and pub restaurants quite badly. The sector faced a three per cent drop in sales, compared to March 2012.

Figures by the Met Office suggest that March was the second coldest since records began, with the average temperature in the month being 3 degrees C less than the usual average. It was pubs that seem to have suffered the worst on the high street, as restaurant brands only saw a decline of 1.9 per cent in their sales, according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

The weather has been linked because the pubs which were hit the hardest happened to be in areas where the weather was the worst.

Peter Martin of Peach Factory said: “The damage was really done in the two middle weeks of March, when like-for-likes across the groups in our sample were collectively down 4.8 per cent and 11 per cent – with some operators doing worse than that.”

It was not all bad news however, as the four-day Easter weekend saw an improvement in sales; so much so that it was an increase of seven per cent compared to Easter 2012.

As the warm weather begins to pick up, hospitality traders will hope that this will have a significant impact within the industry. The Easter figures suggest that households are willing to spend their cash if weather permits, and so the prospect looks positive for the year ahead.

This good news is in conjunction with another recent Coffer Peach Business Tracker report suggesting that February sales had been up by 3.3 per cent year-on-year. Overall March had seen the industry create new hospitality jobs and sales up by 0.6 per cent across all sectors.

The results are based on a sample of 27 operating firms across the UK.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.