The top 10 pub and bar brands by outlets returned to net outlet growth in 2022, following two years of slowing net outlet decline, according to Lumina Intelligence.

Data from the latest Lumina Operator Data Index Quarterly Report showed that the largest pub and bar brands had a combined total of 2,418 outlets last year (+0.1%).

The number one pub and bar brand by outlet numbers was Wetherspoon with approximately 794 sites at the year end, with second place Hungry Horse (Greene King) at 255 sites and third place Sizzling Pubs (Mitchells & Butlers) at 209.

Outlet decline is slowing following years of declines, with the managed, branded and franchised segment faring better in the past year due to stronger portfolios and freehold sites, said Lumina.

Estimated final year figures for 2022 show the managed, branded and franchised section of the pub and bar sector achieved turnover of £11.2bn – up 49.5%, with a small 0.3% increase in outlet numbers.

Tenanted and leased pubs increased their turnover by 73% to £3.3bn, despite site numbers declining by 0.4%.

Lounge, operated by Loungers, is the leading brand in terms of outlet expansion in the top 10, increasing its estate by +12.7% year-on-year. This was followed by Whitbread’s Beefeater +1.7% and Brewers Fayre +0.7%.

Examples of operators seeing strong growth in outlet numbers include Simmons Bar in London. The wet-led operator added five sites in 2022, taking its estate to 25, while BrewDog increased its estate by 20% to 84 bars and The Botanist by four sites to 26 (+18.2%).

In terms of the top 10 brands by turnover, the top two stayed the same with Wetherspoons at number one and Hungry Horse at number two, with Vintage Inns in third place. Lounges saw the highest turnover growth at +45.5%, followed by Toby Carvery (Mitchells & Butlers) +5.9% and Chef & Brewer 2.1%.

Overall the turnover of the top 10 brands fell by 0.8%.

The pub and bar sector was forecast to recover to 98% of its 2019 last year, to a value of £22.5m.

The Operator Data Index quarterly download is included as part of Lumina’s ODI subscription. For more information on the reports, please click here.