Plan B dented Revolution's Christmas sales

Revolution Bars Group says sales over the Christmas period were hit by the move to Plan B and the work from home instruction.

Stafford's Revolution in Cope Street
Stafford's Revolution in Cope Street

The group, which also includes Revolucion de Cuba with a site in Birmingham city centre, said like-for-like sales for the six weeks to Janaury 1 were down 23 per cent on the same period in 2019-2020 – the last unaffected Christmas period.

The group now operates 67 premium bars, trading mainly under the Revolution brand with a bar in Stafford.

For the 26 weeks to January 1 sales were up 1.4 per cent on two years ago. Up to November 14 they had been 14 per cent up.

The group said the impact of the Government actions was most felt in the cancellation of office parties. Pre-booked revenue, an indicator of corporate Christmas parties, was down 39 per cent for the six weeks.

Many of the corporate parties have already been re-booked for early in 2022.

Revolutions Bars' refurbishment programme has continued as planned and six refurbishments have been completeda with a further 13 to complete in the current financial year.

The group has a strong pipeline of new sites and is currently in negotiations on five sites.

Chief executive Rob Pitcher said: "'I am so proud of our team's resilience in the face of the confusing Government messaging and the disappointment of the wave of corporate booking cancellations it caused during December. The only comfort is that many of these parties have already been rebooked and it was pleasing to see the number of general guest bookings significantly up versus 2019 demonstrating that our young guest base remains as enthused and excited about our offering as we are.

"Yesterday's news of the scrapping of the work from home guidance and the cancellation of all other restrictions is very welcome for our business and will actively help rebuild consumer confidence. It is imperative that going forward there are no further restrictions as we all learn to live alongside Covid 19.

"We continue to urge the Government to support the recovery of the hospitality industry by leaving VAT at 12.5% and retaining business rates relief in line with the current levels of support."

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