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Restaurant sales slump in January

15 | 02 | 13

January saw a further slump in restaurant sales as bad weather and a lack of disposable income saw consumers cut down on their leisure spend, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Leading pub and restaurant groups collectively suffered a 2.4 per cent drop in sales over the course of the month, the study revealed.

However, this relatively negative atmosphere is not putting restaurateurs off the market, with an impressive number of new sites fitted with kitchen equipment over recent months.

David Coffer, chairman at the Coffer Group, pointed out that there has been no let-up for demand in leisure properties in recent months, with operators still battling it out for the best sites in what remains a deeply competitive market.

This positive sign suggests that, despite the slight contraction seen over the course of January, the overall outlook for the industry remains extremely positive.

Several analysts have suggested lately that the UK has become one of the most well-serviced areas in the world when it comes to casual dining chains, with many new establishments springing up around the country.

Peter Martin of Peach Factory warned that 2013 could be a bleak year for businesses that do not innovate in order to attract customers, especially given the high level of competition many firms are facing.

The downward trend in sales "points to 2013 being another tough and essentially flat year, with little give in spending", he claimed.

"Innovative groups can do well but it is increasingly becoming a fight for market-share."

The Bristol-based Loungers group recently announced plans to extend its portfolio by opening new sites across the UK, moving from their original base in the south of England to operate establishments as far afield as the north-west.

Loungers is known for its quirky style, utilising vintage materials when refurbishing its restaurants, cafes and bars.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801541428-ADNFCR

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