Stonegate Pub Company saw a 17.8 per cent surge in pre-bookings this Christmas following “significant” investment in its facilities as it reported strong sales over the festive period.
The pub chain, which has 735 venues across the country, revealed that it had invested in a central call centre hub to take bookings and that total like-for-like sale growth was up 7.8 per cent in December.
On the key Christmas period trading days, including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the Slug and Lettuce and Yates’s owner’s sales were up on average 8.3 per cent and in the two weeks from 17 December they rose 12 per cent.
Stonegate chief executive Simon Longbottom said: “I am delighted to report a strong festive trading period for Stonegate – crowning another year of significant progress for the business.
“Our like-for-like sales have increased again driven by our multi-format strategy, relentless focus on customer service and bolstering our market share in our local markets. Our success shows that there is value in a drinks-led, high street focused strategy.
“Encouragingly, all of our trading formats and regions performed well and it was particularly pleasing to see the sites and brands we acquired in 2018 contributing to this.
“Our investment in our pre-booking facilities resulted in a double digit increase in like for like bookings enabling us to maximise the trading opportunity from key festive events, such as New Year’s Eve and Boxing Day football. We have entered 2019 with positive momentum.”
Last year, the company acquired cocktail chain Be At One, which has 33 bars in high street locations, and a further 15 sites from Novus Leisure.