Consumers have continued to spend on eating and drinking out, despite the financial fallout from June's Brexit vote, according to the latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
Overall, like-for-like sales for managed pub and restaurant groups for July were up marginally from last year, at 0.3%. However, London outperformed the rest of the country with a 2.9% like-for-like sales uplift, while sales outside of the M25 fell by 0.5%.
Managed pubs also performed better than casual dining chains, with like-for-likes up 0.9% over the month, compared to 0.6%.
Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach – the business insight consultancy that produces the tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM – said: 'The market will be relieved that trade has more than held up post-referendum, as confidence among the bosses of pub and restaurant chains took a tumble after the vote, as our own exclusive CGA Peach research showed.
'Pub groups also did better than restaurant chains, but that was probably more to do with the good weather than anything else.'
Martin put the success of London businesses down to the anticipated increase in tourism due to the weakened pound, making the UK a more affordable travel destination.
Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: 'These numbers show some resilience post-referendum. While we expect to see costs continue to increase and margins erode over the coming months, putting pressure on profitability for the hospitality sector, a weaker pound should be particularly helpful for attracting tourists to London and other mainstream tourist centres.'
He continued: 'From a transactional perspective, following the referendum we experienced an initial hesitancy from the market to make big property commitments, but now that the initial shock has passed we continue to see similar activity as we did prior to the vote.'