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We are all curious about our business performance compared to the “Industry Norm” as it enables us to evaluate against a known benchmark.  However,  it is often difficult to find up-to-date and accurately researched figures or indeed, find a source for any figures published.


It was with a great whoop of delight therefore that I read an article reporting on a relatively recent survey from 2015, taken from some 3,000 Food & Beverage outlets in the UK.

Encouragingly, it seems that turnovers are increasing slightly with food-led bar and restaurant businesses reporting an average total of £18,000 in weekly sales in 2015, which represented a 2.7% rise on 2014, when it totalled £17,600.

The average food mix was up to 77.2% (vs drinks sales), from 76.2% from the previous year.

Overall, F&B businesses report that their Gross Margins are typically between 76% – 78%. Labour Costs for Food led Businesses average around 28.8% as a percentage of turnover (up 0.5% on 2014) although Pubs with higher wet sales and lower labour costs averaged a labour cost of around 26.7% as a percentage of turnover (up 0.5% on 2014).

Based on the same 3,000 F&B outlets, the average hourly pay in 2015 was shown to be £6.75, an increase of 2.2% on 2014. Figures for 2016 will likely rise as a result of the introduction in April 2016 of the National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour for people aged 25 years and over.

Interestingly, the average length of service recorded was just 392 days (employee turnover of 93%), repeating a similar pattern of previous years. The retention records were 210 days’ average service (worst) against the best rate of only 631 days (best).

A direct correlation was noticed between companies proactively seeking to engage/retain their teams, and those which do not, which reinforces the argument for a strong staff development programme.

It seems that all companies suffer from a high staff absence/illness rate with the average work days lost for these businesses was 16.8 days per month – slightly less than in 2014.

Using the above figures, we can compare our own business’ performance and gauge where we need to make adjustments to our business practice.

SOURCE:  The Caterer 14/7/15 (article written by Neil Gerrard based on a presentation by Mike Shipley, analytics & insight solutions director at Fourth Analytics, during a bars and restaurants forum held in July 2015 by Fourth, BDO and Barclays bank.  Statistics compiled from research carried out by Fourth Analytics which studied data collected from 3,000 F&B outlets around the UK in 2015.)