Casual dining chains are stealing share from pubs when it comes to out-of-home consumer dining, according to the latest figures from Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
The report, which collects sales results from 31 pub, bar and restaurant companies on a weekly basis, said that collective like-for-like sales for the managed pub and restaurant market grew by 1.1% in July. The highest growth came from restaurant groups, especially those outside of London.
Restaurants collectively registered 4.3% sales growth in July, rising to 4.9% outside of London. However pub and bar growth was essentially flat against the same month last year. Food-led pubs, including pub restaurants, actually saw a fall in like-for-like sales.
Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the tracker in partnership with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS, said: 'It is a trend that we been seeing for some months now. While the overall eating and drinking out market continues to grow steadily, it is the growth of branded restaurant chains, especially outside of London that is driving the market.'
'Big name casual dining brands have been opening new sites, particularly away from London, and also improving their offerings, giving the public more choice – and the public has been taking advantage of that choice,' he said. 'These figures simply underline the fast roll-out of new sites that casual dining groups are driving.'
London, on the whole, traded better than the rest of Britain in July, with like-for-likes up 2.1% compared to just 0.8% for the rest of the country, the report said.