10pm curfew drops sales by 12.9%. Analysis from S4labour shows that sales over Thursday to Sunday when comparing the week prior to the curfew with last week show a 10.9% decrease in food sales and a 14.7% decrease in drinks sales.
The impact of the latest challenge is another stark reminder of the effect that Coronavirus is having on our industry. EOTHO is becoming a distant memory and the requirement to think of news ways to drive businesses forward is evermore important. Sam Wignell, Chief Customer Officer at S4labour, commented “I have never spoken to so many customers who are having to look at new innovations to drive sales and keep their businesses compliant. It will be interesting to see how consumer behaviours change as we become accustomed to the new regulations.”
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This data only includes sites that were open for August.
As published in BII
New normal, same old same old
2020 has brought a wave of challenges, some expected (April’s minimum wage increase), others less so; who could have foreseen the COVID-19 pandemic?
This unpredictability has made controlling our labour spend equally challenging.
Whilst the global context of a pandemic means we are adjusting to a new normal, much of what we should have been implementing as best practice for controlling labour cost remains the same.
Although initiatives like “Eat Out To Help Out” and Rishi’s VAT cut have all helped to stimulate public appetite for returning to hospitality venues post-lockdown, the benefit has been offset to a certain extent as operators labour costs have increased, particularly on training on new hygiene measures and enhanced cleaning processes.
Plan, plan, plan
The discipline of planning your rota is more important than ever. The US and Europe traditionally have had a stronger weekday dining out culture, in contrast to the UK, whose culture is more akin to a weekend binge. EOTHO has proved that consumers are open to adapting their behaviour and are happy, and for now able, to afford to dine out during the week. As operators we too have had to adapt but it is also opening up a wider opportunity. It is much easier to manage a business that doesn’t have such highly defined peaks and troughs throughout the week – as long as you plan.
The business can work much more efficiently as the kitchen is not being slammed with high demand at weekends. Similarly, stock rotation is quicker and there is less waste. Food is also fresher and therefore food quality improved, generating a knock-on effect of happier repeat-business customers.
Brief the shift
Looking ahead, when the furlough scheme comes to an end in October, disposable incomes are likely to shrink as the unemployment rate rises and dining out becomes more of a luxury. There may be less opportunity to upsell your desserts, your coffees and the like. Ensuring you deliver a clear shift briefing at the start of every shift means you can maximise those upsell opportunities now. Also make sure all team members have slack tasks allocated to ensure those extra cleaning tasks are covered off. Manage the workload on every shift effectively across your team so that everyone is stressed or slack equally and are still motivated to provide great service.
If these new consumer habits become engrained the “new normal” of regular weekday dining might even mean that January and February don’t have to be the dry spells of old.
Tom Marshall is a former Brakspear GM and M&B lead general manager. He is our in house productivty guru with over 12 years expereince managing high profile venues.
Weekly hospitality sales down 9% on last year but remain 10.4% on pre EOTHO levels.
Analysis from S4labour shows that in the first full week without any government support, hospitality like for like sales were down 9.0% on the same week last year, albeit 10.4% up on the last week of July.
Despite the overall slip in like for likes, food sales continue to be in growth, up 4%. This is in contrast to the 17.5% decline in drink sales comparing last week with the same week in 2019.
Chief Product Officer, Richard Hartley stated that the figures indicate that EOTHO has successfully generated some residual effect in driving out of home eating habits. With the U.K. in recession and the withdrawal of EOTHO, it is unsurprising to see some tailing off of sales. However, with operators standing on their own two feet, it is highly encouraging to see that food sales are still in growth.
Notes to Editors:
To interview Richard Hartley, S4labour, please contact Matt Sweetman, Digital Marketing manager, on 01295 267400 or email@example.com.
S4labour are a leading provider of labour management software and an award-winning independent consultancy firm. Go to www.s4labour.co.uk for more information.
Weekly hospitality sales up 19.9% on pre EOTHO levels.
Analysis from S4labour shows that last weeks hospitality sales were up 19.9% on pre EOTHO levels. However, as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme came to an end, children returning to school and many going back to work, hospitality sales tailed off with a 12.8% week on week decline.
London bore a less severe week on week dip than the rest of the country, down 9.4%, but up 26.4% compared to the week before the EOTHO scheme launched. Outside the capital, week on week sales were down 13.4%, but up 18.8% compared to the week before EOTHO.
Over the last month, there has been a significant difference between the like for likes performance of food compared to drink, with food sales growing more dramatically in the wake of the EOTHO support. However last week, with EOTHO not available for the majority of the week, there was for the first time since July, a relatively modest difference, with drink sales slipping 11.5% and food sales down 14.0% on the previous week.
Sam Wignell, Chief Customer Officer at S4labour commented, last week was interesting because we had one day of EOTHO and a bank holiday Monday. This week will be the first full week without the government backed discount and so give a much clearer indicator of the health of the sector. While week on week sales were down, it is highly encouraging to see operators are still trading well above where they were a 6 weeks ago. On the whole, these set of figures point to a healthy level of public confidence albeit with a hard road of recovery ahead.