London’s Hospitality Industry Tops Pre-pandemic Levels Defying “All Expectations in 2023”

New figures have revealed that London’s hospitality industry revenue grew to £46bn last year, up from £43bn in 2019, hugely contributing to the economic recovery of the country.

New figures from UKHospitality and CGA reveal London’s hospitality industry revenue grew to £46bn last year, up from £43bn in 2019, and sales outpaced the rest of the UK, growing on average 7.7 per cent a month, compared to 5.6 per cent nationally. With London’s fantastic pubs, bars and restaurants driving London’s economic recovery, the mayor said it shows the ‘phenomenal resilience in London hospitality’.

Separately, millions of Londoners and visitors took part in live music events in the capital’s world-renowned venues and festivals across the year as some of the industry’s biggest names performed, including Beyoncé, Harry Styles and Blur.

New data reveals: 

  • Boxpark reported record sales in December 2023 with like-for-like sales up by 22 per cent on December 2022, beating sales made during the 2022 World Cup
  • More than 250 new restaurants opened in London last year, a four per cent increase on 2022
  • The O2 arena enjoyed a record-breaking year with more than 2.5m tickets sold to its events
  • ABBA Voyage welcomed more than 1m visitors to its purpose-built East London venue adding £177million to the capital’s GVA
  • BST Hyde Park welcomed 555,000 guests across its summer of activity, selling out faster than pre-pandemic
  • Three of London’s biggest stadiums welcomed more than 1.2m visitors to a number of live music events. That includes more than 225,000 experiencing Beyoncé’s show over five nights at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Harry Styles recorded his highest UK attendance (320,000) over four nights at Wembley, and 160,000 enjoying The Weeknd at London Stadium

Dozens of exciting new restaurant, bar and pub openings are planned in the coming months, including Josephine in Chelsea, Three Sheets in Soho and England’s first ever Guinness Storehouse will open in Covent Garden.

Although the music and hospitality sectors continue to bounce back to full health following the pandemic, they still face a number of difficulties, with increases in rents and energy costs, and ongoing issues around migration changes impacting recruitment. Smaller and independent venues are particularly affected.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants are unrivalled and I’m delighted that they have helped our capital roar back from the impact of the pandemic. with figures now better than before the pandemic. It really shows the phenomenal resilience in London hospitality. The success of our world-leading hospitality sector over the last 12 months is alongside some incredible live music events that have brought huge crowds to our capital.

“However, we know much more still needs to be done to protect grassroots live music venues and those hospitality businesses that continue to struggle during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and growing challenges with recruitment. We need Government to step-up and do more to appreciate the crucial cultural, economic and social value of these venues and ensure they have the support they need.”

Amy Lamé, London’s Night Czar, said: “From our world-leading venues, festivals and restaurants to our intimate small music stages and independent bars and pubs, London really has something for everyone when it comes to live music and hospitality. I’m delighted to see London roaring back after the pandemic, but we know some venues still have challenges. They are at the heart of our communities and provide a vital platform for aspiring artists and entrepreneurs as well as boosting our economy. I’d encourage everyone to make the most of what London has to offer this year, especially our independent venues.”

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality Chief Executive, said: “These figures clearly show that hospitality, leisure and tourism remains absolutely critical to London. Our venues are somewhere that consumers, both from at home and abroad, prioritise and seek out when they visit, meaning our sector is crucial to maintaining London’s recovery and growth. I’m confident this appetite for hospitality and fantastic experiences will continue this year and that it can remain a key driving force behind growth and success in the capital.”

Alex Hill, President & CEO of AEG Europe, said: “Across AEG’s venues, festivals and events, we were thrilled to be able to provide the people of London with more memorable experiences in 2023 than ever before, proving live entertainment continues to be the heartbeat of the city. With big plans ahead – including our new venue in Olympia, a multitude of shows being promoted across London, and investment in The O2 with our brand-new members club – we can’t wait to continue giving our brilliant capital one of many reasons to cheer.”