Managed pub operator Innventure has reported that a lack of snow helped like-for-like sales jump 14.5% during the three key weeks of December, compared to the year before.
The five-strong food-led group achieved gross sales of £482,000 for the 2011 Christmas and New Year period, up from £421,000 in 2010.
While trading was helped by a lack of snow – the company said its Rusty Gun site was virtyally closed for two weeks in December 2010 as a result of icy conditions – the figures were also improved by New Year’s Eve falling within the trading period. It fell just outside it in 2010.
Chris Gerard, the former Mitchells & Butlers executive who now runs Innventure, also credited the upbeat attitudes of UK consumers for the company’s success.
“A friend over from France told me that the public mood there is very different with a feeling that the world’s coming to an end. In this country, the attitude of customers is more positive,” he explained. “But it also didn’t feel like one last hurrah – there was a mood of quiet confidence.”
Innventure said that investment and innovation also played a hand in pushing overall trade to record levels. Like-for-like sales increased by 46% at the Foresters pub in Hampshire after the kitchen was doubled in size while the Broadway in Letchworth saw its ballroom booked for 17 consecutive nights.
The introduction of retro tribute bands and comedy acts to its dinner and dance Christmas party package helped to generate sales of £10,000 a night.