Sales stats show bars and wet-led pubs did better than food venues this December
The Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which monitors sales in the UK pub, bar and restaurant sector, shows bar businesses saw a collective 3.9% uplift in sales compared to Christmas 2018.
Across the whole of the on-trade, Christmas and New Year like-for-like sales increased 2.5% on 2018. That breaks down into positive trading across all parts of the market with restaurant chains up 2.3% and pubs up 2.7% (with drink-led pubs outdid their food-led counterparts).
'It has been a challenging year for the eating- and drinking-out market, so these figures will be a welcome boost for operators. Christmas and New Year is a vital time for the industry, so to see positive growth is good news,' said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the company that produces the Tracker.
'These results underline the fact that the public still want to go out to enjoy themselves over the holiday period, but it also emphasises how important this time of year is to the health of the market, and that operators have to keep creating good reasons for people to go out,' Chessell added.
London did better than the rest of the country over the period, with sales up 2.7% compared to 2.5% outside the M25.
The capital benefitted from especially strong trading from pubs and bars, while outside of the capital restaurant chains had a better period, actually out-performing pubs, said Chessell.
Total sales over the six-week festive period, which include the effect of new openings since this time last year, were ahead 5.4% compared to same period in 2018.