Marston’s has stated trading for the three months since 17 May has been “better than expected,” with sales across managed and franchised pubs at 92 percent of the same period in 2019.
Investment in external service areas and acquisition of the Brains estate has helped boost revenue, with the pub company’s full estate of 1,500 venues now reopened and operating at full capacity.
“The last 16 months have been extremely difficult, but we are delighted to be fully open again albeit taking our responsibilities seriously while striving to offer our guests a genuine but safe pub experience,” said CEO Ralph Findlay.
“That said, there are challenges ahead as the sector starts out on the road to recovery, with the immediate short-term continuing to be uncertain and operationally disrupted. The tone of government messaging will be an important influence on consumer confidence. At present, the message is one of caution.”
Calling on the government to better support the country’s hospitality industry, Findlay added “we believe that a government review of the business rates system is long overdue and that VAT reduction should be permanent since the hospitality industry remains one of the most heavily taxed sectors.”
“This would assist an industry that has been hit hard and aid hospitality’s employment and development of young workers which will be a key part of the UK’s economic recovery.”