UK restaurants see a recovery in April sales

Pubs and restaurants across the UK saw a rise in sales and profits in April, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Following the stormy winter weather of March, sales had seen a 0.1 per cent rise in 27 of the top restaurants and pub groups in the UK. This is in comparison with March, which actually saw sales fall by three per cent. Looking geographically, the capital city performed the best, whilst pubs in London topped the list. Furthermore, casual dining brands in the capital city saw a 0.3 per cent rise, compared to this time last year, after six months of decline.

Peter Martin of Peach Factory said: “Last April’s figures included all of the Easter weekend. This year’s only took in Easter Monday, so the performance is actually better than the headline numbers suggest, as the Easter holiday is always a busy time for eating and drinking out.

“The good weather at the end of the month helped to compensate for the loss of that Easter trading. Total sales, including the impact of new openings, were ahead 2.8 per cent of last April.”

However, some analysts have taken these figures with caution. Paul Newman, co-head of leisure and hospitality at Baker Tilly, noted that whilst year-on-year sales increased by 5.6 per cent inside the M25, an eagle eye must be kept on the new site rental market as top line growth has to be properly managed with new site operating margins.

A clearer picture will be painted on the hospitality sector once the official second quarter figures are released later this year, but these stats suggest that chef recruitment may be on the rise, especially in London.

Companies that are part of the Coffer Peach Business Tracker include Mitchells & Butlers, Pizza Hut, Whitbread, Gondola and Young’s.

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