Re-opening  Sales Figures

Re-opening Sales Figures

Like-for-like sales down 30% year-on-year in first full week of trading since regulations ease:

Last week we reported that like-for-like sales were down 33.6% year-on-year in first weekend of trading since regulations eased, this week we can report that the week that followed so called Super Saturday, were down 29.8% compared to the same week in 2019.

The research uncovers a split in the performance of sales of drinks and sales of food. Sales of drinks were down 21.3% while sales of food down 40.0% compared to the same week in 2019. While the figures had very little deviation when comparing sites that were inside and outside of London, the capital performed slightly worse on sales of food, down 43.0% (compared to 40% down nationally) while sales of drinks inside London, while still down, were only down 18.7% (compared to the national decline of 21.3%).


July the 4th 2020, the day the hospitality industry was allowed to reopen their doors to customers in England after been forced to close as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not every operator decided to reopen and those that did, did so to mixed pubic press on the rights and wrongs of them doing so, a raft of new government guidelines and an unknown level of public appetite to return to eating and drinking out. Anecdotally, operators had relatively low sales expectations from the opening weekend and many would have been encouraged by sales that were up 13.3% in comparison with the weekend before lock-down (14th
and 15th of March), albeit down 33.6% year-on-year.

The most notable trend from the following week including the weekend was the continued decline of food sales. S4labour Chief Customer Officer Sam Wignell said: “In these very early days of reopening, it is clear that social distancing is going to prevent food led business from serving the same number of guests they previously would have, explaining some of the reason why food sales have declined more severely than drinks. S4labour Chief Product Officer Richard Hartley said: Huge efforts have been made to make eating and drinking out safe, this has inevitably had an effect on capacity. We are also seeing some degree of people dipping their toe back in the water with a drink out, perhaps holding off for a period before going out for a meal.

February 2020 Like For Like Sales Figures

February 2020 Like For Like Sales Figures

Like for like sales figures jump 4.4% for hospitality providers in February.


According to analysis of more than 1,500 sites using S4labour software, overall like for like sales were up 4.4% in February 2020, compared with the same month in 2019.


In February 2020, it was the sales of drinks that bolstered the strongest like for like growth, up 6.1% on February 2019, which contrasted with the 1.3% increase in sales of food. This however should be put into context, where 2019 saw reasonably strong growth in sales of food and very modest increase in drinks of sales. 


Like last month, it was sites outside of London that saw the strongest sales growth, with a 4.5% uplift of sales outside the capital and a 3.3% rise in London.


Sam Wignell, S4labour Chief Customer Officer noted that the figures show a continuing trend in 2020 which suggests that there is something of a revival of wet-led pubs outside London and really strong performance from restaurants in the capital. In fact, there was an 8.1% jump in like for like sales for food orientated business inside the capital and an 8.5% boost in like for like sales for drink focused business outside London. Both of which are year on year growth, something that will be highly encouraging to operators. It will be very interesting to see how this trend pans out throughout the rest of 2020.

March Shows and Events

March Shows and Events

During March, S4labour will be at multiple events, showcasing the system and speaking to existing and future customers. We would love to catch up with you and show you what’s new.

We will be manning stands on various dates, if you are attending one of the following, click on the image and book a slot for a chat. 

How being a “grabber” was a spring board to great things.

How being a “grabber” was a spring board to great things.

People that know me are always shocked to hear that I suffered with lack of confidence when I was a younger. It was while doing a culinary course at college that I won pastry chef of the year, and I discovered I loved the kitchen! I still love baking today but being host in FOH was when my confidence blossomed. I always remember one of my college professors saying, “you should be earning your age!”, so I made it my target to do just that and landed a role at Mitchell & Butlers. I was very lucky, I had a great manager, who coached me to be the best me, and always said “Lisa be a grabber!”. She volunteered me for everything, and I soon was attending all the courses I could, supporting other business and really gaining exposure; this rocketed my career. My first promotion came after my first year to Assistant Manager, then Deputy Manager the following year. From then, I started putting myself forward for cover roles and heading to other business to provide cover.

Lisa is S4labour’s Customer Training Manager. She has a lifetimes experience in the hospitality sector, having been, amongst other roles, a general manager of a premium country pub for Mitchells & Butlers.

After a successful 6-month maternity hold, I got the keys for my very first business. I will never forget the excitement of hanging my brass licensee plaque, and how proud my family were of me; I was only 23! I had achieved so much in the 4 years since leaving college and grown into such a different person. This was all down to being a grabber, and making the most of every opportunity I could. I even featured in the Career Mail for having such a successful career at my age. I loved being a landlady and continued to grab every opportunity I could. I really wanted to drive my career into a full time learning and development role and started seeking additional roles such as district trainer or people champion; I also did a foundation degree in managing in service industries. My career has been propelled by training at every opportunity. I’m still a grabber and will put my hand up for any additional training that’s available.  

December 2019 Sales Figures

December 2019 Sales Figures

-Like for like sales figures flatline for hospitality providers in December 2019.


According to analysis of more than 1,500 sites using S4labour software, overall like for like sales were static in December 2019, compared with the same month in 2018, falling by 0.1%.


There was positive like for like growth of 1.1% for sales of food in December 2019, however drinkers were more restrained than last year, resulting in a slip of 1.0% in drink sales.


Once again London outperformed the rest of the country, with an overall like for like growth of 1.2% compared to a fall of 0.3% outside London. One of the standout figures from December was a 4.2% growth in like for like sales for food orientated businesses inside the capital. Food orientated business outside London barely managed to grow at all, raising just 0.3%.


Figures that take the key festive dates of the 24th, 25th, 26th and the 31st in isolation show a much more vibrant picture of the sector, with an overall 3.9% like for like increase on the same days trading in 2018. While drink sales may have been sluggish for the month on the whole, drinks sales spiked 4.6% higher than the same dates in 2018. Surprisingly, it was wet-led sites outside of London that out performed those in the capital. Wet-led sites saw like for like sales up 6.8% over the key festive dates compared to 4.5% in London.


The success of the few days around Christmas suggests that people were more inclined to stay at home for much of the month, but were more willing to splash out on the biggest hospitality days of the year. It is possible that business may have missed opportunities throughout the month of December, focusing too heavily on the last week.


While the figures for retail are still being crunched, most analysts expect high street spending during December to fall again this year. The rise in online shopping may well have negatively impacted footfall for the hospitality sector also.