Hospitality Sector Expects Sales Boost During King’s Coronation Weekend

3 mins read

Key Takeaways:

  • Small business leaders in the UK are expecting revenues to increase by 10% this quarter year-on-year, with an additional £180 million in revenue expected from the King’s Coronation weekend.
  • The hospitality and leisure sector is expected to benefit the most from the long weekend, with two in five hospitality businesses expecting a boost in sales.
  • Despite the increased optimism, many SMEs are still concerned about the impact of high energy costs on their businesses.

King’s Coronation Weekend to Give UK SMEs a £180m Revenue Boost, According to Barclays

As the UK prepares to celebrate the coronation of its new king, small business owners are looking forward to a much-needed boost in revenue. According to the latest quarterly Barclays SME Barometer, nearly three-fifths of small business leaders (58%) are expecting revenues to increase this quarter when compared to the first three months of 2023, with an average revenue increase of 10% year-on-year, thanks to a boost from the King’s Coronation weekend.

As business owners look forward to the celebrations, SMEs across the hospitality and leisure sector expect the long weekend to bring in an additional £180 million of revenue. These figures follow a successful first quarter of the year for UK SMEs, with more than half (56%) reporting a rise in revenue from Q4 2022 and 60% reporting a year-on-year rise in revenue from Q1 2022. Small business optimism is also at its highest level in a year, with 43% of SME leaders feeling positive about their future.

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The hospitality and leisure sector is expected to benefit the most from the King’s Coronation weekend, with two in five (40%) hospitality businesses expecting a boost in sales. A third (31%) of businesses plan to take advantage of the additional licensing hours across the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the Coronation weekend from 11 pm to 1 am. Furthermore, a quarter (25%) of SMEs in the hospitality sector expect to see an increase in support for their business from the local community.

Barclaycard Payments, which processes one in three debit and credit card payments in the UK, also supports these figures, showing a rise of 1.4% in the value of payments to SMEs in Q1 compared to the same period last year.

Investing in Growth Despite Concerns

Despite the increased optimism, wider concerns remain, as almost three-quarters of SMEs (73%) say they are worried about the impact of the cost of energy on their business. Moreover, just over two-fifths (41%) say they will need to increase their prices to cover the costs, which will impact their competitiveness.

Many SMEs plan to plough investment back into their businesses following the expected rise in revenues. Almost four in ten (39%) businesses plan to increase their number of employees over the next quarter, resulting in an average of eight new recruits per business. This is the largest expected increase in new hires for SMEs since Q1 2022.

Colin O’Flaherty, Head of SME at Barclaycard, commented on the findings, saying: “It’s great to see that businesses plan to make the most of the Coronation weekend and are hoping to see increases in revenue, as consumers take advantage of the long weekend and enjoy eating and drinking out. It’s unsurprising that in the immediate term, there are still wider concerns for businesses, whether that’s energy prices or underlying cost-of-living issues. SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and with a series of bank holidays coming up in May, it’s more important than ever to make sure we support local businesses at every opportunity.”

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Harnessing the Power of Automated Marketing

As SMEs look to increase revenues, some experts are calling for businesses to invest in new marketing technologies. Sjuul van der Leeuw, CEO of Deployteq, said: “The time has come for SMEs to harness the power of fully automated marketing platforms, which allow businesses to interact with new and existing customers through highly personalized and relevant communication channels.”

Van der Leeuw added that many SMEs still rely on outdated manual marketing processes that are ineffective and expensive, and that the key to increasing revenue will be reaching new customers. By investing in automated marketing platforms, SMEs can interact with customers in a more personalized and relevant way, potentially leading to increased sales and revenue.

Looking Ahead

As the UK celebrates the coronation of its new king, small business owners are hopeful that the long weekend will provide a much-needed boost to their revenues. With optimism at its highest level in a year, SMEs are looking to invest in growth and plough revenues back into their businesses. However, concerns around the cost of energy and competitiveness remain.

As the UK enters a new phase of recovery from the pandemic, it is essential to support SMEs, which are the lifeblood of the UK economy. With a series of bank holidays coming up in May, it is crucial to ensure that we support local businesses at every opportunity.


Barclaycard’s SME Barometer provides useful insights into the state of SMEs in the UK, highlighting the impact of major events like the King’s Coronation weekend on small businesses. By monitoring the performance of SMEs across different sectors, we can gain a better understanding of the challenges they face and how we can support their growth and development in the future.

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