Sprint finish secures good Olympics for pubs
15 August, 2012
The majority of pubs surveyed this week by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers suggests that most saw an upswing in business in the second half of the Olympic Games,
The poll found that 60% of pubs saw an upturn in the second week of the Games, with 20% of operators turning in like for like sales growth of 11% or more compared to the same period last year. About 30% reported gains of 6 to 10%. The positive performance probably reflects the surge of interest and patriotism in the second week of the Games when Team GB pulled in a haul of medals.
The figures are good news for pubs after an uncertain start to the Olympics. As data from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker has shown, pub and restaurant sales in the week leading up to the Opening Ceremony were the worst of any week in July—though provisional data from the first full week of the Games suggests trade was marginally up.
However, as Peach founder Peter Martin said last week: "Figures for week two will also have to take into account the fact that the riots hit during the same week last year."
The ALMR survey—which drew on 1,180 sites run by 20 operators—also suggests that pubs avoided much of the disruption that some feared would be caused by the Games. Only around 10% of operators reported logistical difficulties around things like deliveries.
ALMR chief executive Nick Bish said of the survey findings: “The public perception was that London wouldn’t be able to handle the Games influx, so people stayed away. But these fears were unjustified and then it became clear that pubs and bars were after all the best place to celebrate the success of Team GB. It’s heartening to see such a turnaround after a difficult first week of trading and to report that pubs and bars are an essential part this is a testament to the warmth, vibrancy and vitality of the modern British pub. The significant improvement in week two indicates both the massive outpouring of support for the London Olympics and the wonderful work done by entrepreneurial operators to ensure that everyone who came out to experience the Games was able to enjoy the very best of British hospitality.”
Olympic week trading figures for the broader pub and restaurant market will be available to Coffer Peach Business Tracker participating companies later today.