New Hospitality Tracker Sees First Quarter Sales Drop 21.3%

The UK hospitality sector saw sales decline 21.3% in the first quarter of 2020, as the country and the industry moved into COVID-19 lockdown, figures from the newly launched UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker reveal.

In the most comprehensive analysis of the UK hospitality market ever undertaken, combining data from all sub-segments of hospitality, the cliff edge impact of the Government-imposed lockdown can be seen with hospitality among the first sectors impacted by the crisis.

The drop in trading across the nation’s pubs, hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs and attractions in the first three months of the year is concentrated in March as figures show total annualised sales across the hospitality sector at £126.8bn, down 2.7% on the previous 12 months.

The total value of the sector to the UK economy at the end of 2019 was £133.5bn. It will be a long time before that level is reached again.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “The scale of the fall underlines the severe impact the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown imposed by the Government from March 23 has already had on the sector. At the end of December, the industry had seen year-on-year growth running at +3.9% – the turnaround has been dramatic and will only get worse in the coming quarter. A continuation of business support is the only way to avoid a bloodbath of job losses and company failures in the hospitality sector, one of the UK economy’s jewels in the crown.”

Data for the new UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker has been compiled by the market’s leading insight and data provider CGA, using its own Trading Index and OPM data on food and drink sales across the on-trade, combined with hotel data supplied by STR and fast food market data supplied by NPD Group’s Crest Panel, direct company contributions and complemented with ONS statistics.

Phil Tate, Group CEO of CGA, added: “The new UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker is the first time the industry has been able to produce a comprehensive picture of trading right across the UK’s hospitality sector, including food, drink and accommodation and attraction sales, and it has only been possible due to unprecedented co-operation between CGA and fellow data specialists STR and NPD. We thank them for their support.”