Pubs were the sector that experienced the biggest trading uplift during the UEFA European Championship, according to new figures.
Collective like-for-like sales for pub chains rose by 2% during June, according to the latest report from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, compared to just 1.4% for restaurant groups.
Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, which produces the report, said that the timing of school holidays also had a bearing on this year’s uplift, compared to 2015. However, he warned against viewing the results as a sign the market was improving.
'The truth is that the eating and drinking out market remains sluggishly slow with underlying growth of only around 1% year on year,' he said. 'The sales growth in June essentially all came in the first week, which enjoyed a double digit boost. Our weekly figures show that the rest of the month was generally negative, despite football being on TV.
'Pubs did benefit from the football, with drink-led pubs and bars, especially those outside of London, up 3.8% on last June, but that was generally evened out by a drop off in eating out.
'There is also some evidence that drink-led businesses have benefited from the National Living Wage putting a few more pounds in the pockets of younger, blue collar workers, although that's not replicated across the market,' said Martin.
London fared somewhat worse than the rest of Britain, with like for like sales up only 0.1% in June, compared to an increase of 2.5% outside the M25.
Sales for the month among the 33 companies covered by the tracker – which include Mitchells & Butlers, Pizza Hut, Whitbread, PizzaExpress, Novus Leisure and Spirit Pub Company – were up 5.7% in June 2015, reflecting new site openings, especially outside of London.
Martin added that it was too early to see the trading impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, which occurred in late June.
The report is produced by business insight consultancy CGA Peach, in partnership with Coffer Group, RSM and UBS.