The Growth Market Monitor, conducted by CGA, is a quarterly review of the pub, bar and restaurant sector in the UK. The most recent edition, published in December 2017, reported an increase of 0.03 percent in the number of licensed premises in the previous 12 months.

To gauge anything of value from this stat may seem difficult, but actually, there’s more to this than meets the eye. It shows that in today’s market, investing in a new site or revamping an existing one presents more risk now than what it did a few years ago.

The industry’s challenges are steadily rocking the boat; food costs, minimum wage, business rates and Brexit, but the industry is resilient and still remains in good shape. Despite a number of pubs, bars, and restaurants have succumbed to the pressure in the last year, CGA reports new site openings are still replenishing the old. The restaurant sector has enjoyed steady growth, with numbers increasing by 1.6 percent in the 12 months to September 2017. However, the same can’t be said of drink-led sites which have fallen by 2.3 percent in the past year.

Risk is nothing new to the hospitality industry, and the latest round is certainly not a reason to be negative about future prospects, however, it does give operators a reason to be cautious when managing new assets and investments. Make no mistake, operators have always had a good nous for pinpointing clever investments, but it’s the people looking after those assets who need to be equipped to deliver a return on investment.

Daniel Davies, chief executive of CPL Training Group, said: “Although the industry is performing well under the current circumstances, it’s essential that operators take every step to ensure long-term profit, especially when it comes to new sites and refurbishments. Taking that step to becoming a multiple operator isn’t an easy transition and the focus has to be on your management team.

“We have spent time developing a training workshop aimed at operators taking this next step, which covers all aspects of managing multiple investments. Its aim is simple: to teach those responsible for managing multiple sites how to enable business growth from the ground up. The value of this initiative is significant because the success of an investment is dependent on the competence of the person managing it, who, with second or third sites, is usually a recruited General Manager. We’ve found that this type of training is hard to come by, and provides focus which we believe is highly beneficial to industry operators”.