Revolution Bars to downsize estate despite successful Christmas

5th January 2024 | Jack Oliver

Revolution Bars Group is set to downsize its estate despite enjoying its best festive period since 2019.

The group – which trades mainly through its Revolution, Revolución de Cuba, and Peach Pubs brands – said it will be closing eight of its least profitable bars to reduce future site losses.

Revolution bars in Beaconsfield, Derby, Reading, St Peters Liverpool, and Wilmslow will be closed, along with Revolución de Cuba bars in Sheffield and Southampton, and the Playhouse in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

The group said negotiations for five of the eight bars have already begun for them to be transferred to other operators or to have their leases rescinded.

Following the closures, Revolution Bars will operate 58 bars and 22 pubs.

This comes as the group provides a trading update for the four weeks to 31 December, during which group like-for-like sales were up by 9%. This was Revolution’s strongest Christmas period since before the pandemic.

The group said that its Peach Pubs and Revolución de Cuba bars had performed well, however the Revolution Bars brand – despite trading positively on a like-for-like basis over Christmas – is feeling the effects of its guests being “disproportionally impacted” by current economic conditions.

Group like-for-like sales for the first half of the financial year continued to show a positive trend, but remained negative at -2.8%.

Rob Pitcher, CEO of Revolution Bars Group, said: “We have had the best festive trading period for four years with all of our brands recording positive like for like sales and Revolución de Cuba being the standout performer.

“However, our younger customers are still feeling the disproportionate effect of the cost-of-living crisis and the national living wage will increase materially in April 2024. Therefore, we have taken the difficult yet ultimately beneficial step for the Group to close several bars which are unprofitable.

“Our teams do a terrific job in making guests welcome and giving them a great experience and again we have demonstrated that when our customer base can afford to do so, they are choosing to celebrate with us, and we have delivered record levels of guest satisfaction. This should bode well for the future.”


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