Year-on-year trading has now been negative for 17 months in a row, following a boom in 2020 and 2021 as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns. Deliveries and takeaways by value attracted 14% of groups’ total sales in April — sharply down from 24% in April 2022.
However, the new Tracker indicates that year-on-year comparisons are easing. April’s 1% decline compares with 6% in February and 3% in March — raising confidence that demand for deliveries and takeaways is starting to stabilise despite ongoing pressure on consumers’ spending.
Year-on-year trading has been partly protected by rising menu prices, while volumes have fallen significantly. Groups’ delivery order volumes in April were 10% below the same month in 2022, while takeaway and click-and-collect orders contracted by 9%. With inflation in double digits, the value of trading is much further behind in real terms.
“Seventeen successive year-on-year drops in delivery and takeaway sales partly reflects the steady return of consumers to restaurants since late 2021,” says Karl Chessell, CGA’s director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA.
“But with our Coffer CGA Business Tracker showing only modest growth in eat-in sales during that time, amid very high inflation, there is no escaping the fact that total sales have been significantly down in real terms.
“Conditions will remain challenging for some time, but with signs that inflation and household bills may ease in the second half of 2023 we remain very confident about the long-term outlook for hospitality.”