Hospitality groups deliver 1.4% growth in February as spending pressures continue

Britain’s top hospitality groups achieved modest like-for-like sales growth of 1.4% in February, the latest CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker reveals.

It continues a slow start to 2024 for the sector, after marginal growth of 0.1% in January in the wake of strong trading over Christmas. Patchy consumer confidence amid still-rising costs and economic and political uncertainty means many people remain cautious with their spending.


The Tracker—produced by CGA by NIQ in partnership with RSM UK—shows restaurants were hospitality’s best performing segment in February with like-for-like growth of 2.2%, while pubs were only fractionally behind at 2.1%. However, bars suffered a 7.4% dip in sales, reflecting a squeeze on consumers’ late-night spending and a move towards earlier eating and drinking out. The On The Go segment was 0.5% behind in February 2023.


Restaurant, pub, bar and On The Go operators performed slightly better in London than elsewhere in Britain. Groups’ February sales within the M25 were 1.9% ahead of last year, compared to 1.3% outside it.


Karl Chessell, director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said: “Subdued trading in February shows consumers remain watchful with their discretionary spending. With costs still rising for businesses as well as individuals, margins are under pressure and some operators remain fragile. But while the short-term outlook for hospitality is uncertain, underlying demand is good, and as inflation and interest rates hopefully ease and the Budget’s reduction in National Insurance contributions kicks in, we can be cautiously optimistic that people will start to loosen their spending over the Spring and Summer.”


Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM UK, said: A combination of bad weather and dwindling budgets put a dampener on Valentine’s celebrations, continuing a disappointingly slow start to the year. February’s weak sales underline current challenges in the hospitality sector at a time of rising wage bills, rents, and rates, with the recent Spring Budget doing little to ease the burden. While there are signs for optimism in the future with inflation forecast to hit 2% in Q2, interest rates predicted to fall from summer and real wages growing for the rest of the year, the next few months will test many best-in-class managed groups and could see a further swathe of smaller independents give up the fight for survival.”


CGA by NIQ collected sales figures directly from 103 leading managed groups for  February’s edition of the CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker, which provides authoritative monthly insights into Britain’s restaurant, pub and bar sales. Companies participating in the Tracker receive a fuller breakdown of trading that helps to benchmark performance and understand market trends. To join the cohort, contact Andrew Dean at


Participants in the CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker: Adventure Bars, Adventure Leisure Ltd, All Star Lanes, Amber Taverns, Anglian Country Inns, Arc Inspirations, Azzurri Group (Ask Italian, Coco di Mama, Zizzi), Ballie Ballerson, Banana Tree Restaurants, Barburrito, Beds and Bars, Big Table Group (Bella Italia, Chiquito, Frankie & Benny’s, Las Iguanas), Bill’s Restaurants, Boxpark, BrewDog, Burger & Lobster, Buzzworks Holdings Group, Byron, Chopstix, Coaching Inn Group Ltd, Comptoir Group Plc, Cote Restaurants, Creams Café, Darwin & Wallace, Dishoom, , Five Guys, Fortnum & Mason, Fuller Smith & Turner, Gaucho Grill, Giggling Squid, Greene King (Chef & Brewer, Hungry Horse, Flaming Grill), Gusto Restaurants, Hall & Woodhouse, Hawthorn Leisure, Heartwood Collection, Honest Burgers, HOP Vietnamese, Individual Restaurants, Island Poké, Junkyard Golf Club, Kibou, Laine Pub Co, Le Bistrot Pierre, Liberation, Lina Stores, Loungers, Lucky Voice, Marston’s, McMullen & Sons Ltd, Mildreds, Mitchells & Butlers (Harvester, Toby, Miller & Carter, All Bar One), MJMK Restaurants, Mojo Bar, Mowgli, Nando’s Restaurants, New World Trading Company, North Brewing Co, Oakman Inns, Parogon Pub Group, Peach Pubs, Pho, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut UK, Portobello Starboard Ltd, Prezzo, Punch Pub Co, Pure, Rekom UK, Revolution Bars, Rick Stein Restaurants, Riley’s, , Rosa’s Thai, Roxy Leisure, San Carlo, Shepherd Neame, Simmons Bars Group, Snug Bar, Southern Wind Group (Fazenda),  St Austell, Star Pubs & Bars, State of Play Hospitality, Stonegate Pub Co (Slug & Lettuce, Yates’, Walkabout, Bermondsey Pub Company), Tasty Plc, TGI Fridays UK, The Alchemist, The Restaurant Group, Tonkotsu, Tortilla, True North Brew Co, Upham Pub Co, Various Eateries (Strada, Coppa Club), Village Hotels, Wagamama, Wasabi, Wells & Co, Whitbread (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table), Wingstop, YO! Sushi and Young’s.

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