Hospitality spending grows despite Brexit fears

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union does not appear to have had an immediate impact on hospitality as new figures show that spending in the industry has risen.
 
The latest Visa UK Consumer Spending Index data found that hotels, restaurant and bars was the strongest performing sector in July with annual spending growth of 8.9 per cent, compared to growth of 5.2 per cent in recreation and culture, 5.1 per cent in food, beverages and tobacco, 3.9 per cent in clothing and footwear, and falls of 3.8 per cent in transport and communication, and 0.9 per cent in the health and education sector.
 
The strong monthly figures for the hospitality and catering industry follow 3.4 per cent growth in June.
 
Spending in the industry was far ahead of the overall average which recorded annual increases of 1.6 per cent in July and 0.9 per cent in June, and a monthly increase of 1.1 per cent in July and a fall of 0.5 per cent in the previous month.
 
Speaking about summer trade, Josh Beer from The Illustrious Pub Company in Cambridgeshire, said: “Overall, this was a good month for us with revenue up 6.2 per cent compared to last month. A lot of this was due to the performance of our outdoor catering business, as we were called in to provide food for BBQs, weddings and corporate summer parties.
 
“Sales at our pubs also benefited from the Euros and July’s heatwave. In our site where a large screen TV had been installed sales surged, and among our locations, those that allowed customers to dine al fresco were the best performers.”
 
In separate news, stats from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) showed that the rate of pub closures has slowed in 2016 so far.
 
A net average of 21 pubs closed every week in the first six months of the year, compared to 27 in the previous timeframe.
 
By Owen Mckeon
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