According to analysis of more than 1,500 restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels and cafes that use S4labour software, sales of both food and drink were down 3% in September 2019 compared to September 2018. The dip in the performance follows 2 months of particularly strong sales over the summer period.
The figures compare sales of food and drink in September 2019 v September 2018. The low levels of rainfall and higher than seasonal average temperatures that resulted in strong sales performance in September 2018 were not factors for this September and could have dampened appetites for eating and drink out.
Overall, hospitality sites that are drink focused dropped 4.8% in like for like sales and sites that are food focused saw a modest 1.1% decline in like for like sales.
Looking at wet-led pubs, it was a decline of 5.1% in drink sales that was the standout figure. The Rugby World Cup would have helped draw some drinkers into these sites, however the earlier kick off times may have muted the bounce in sales that a major sporting event can bring to drink focused businesses. A fall of 3.7% in food sales further compounded the results at drink focused businesses.
Food focused pubs also faced a small decline in like for like sales in September 2019, although to a more modest extent, with a food slipping by 1.7% and drink 0.2%. The inclement weather compared to the same period in the previous year is likely to have been a significant factor to these figures.