Britain's managed pub and restaurant sector continues to experience steady growth, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which shows a 1.2% increase in like-for-like sales for September.
The tracker, which is based upon data from 32 companies including Mitchells & Butlers, Whitbread and Stonegate, as well as smaller groups like Hall & Woodhouse, also found annualised like-for-like sales are running at 1.3% higher than the previous year.
Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker in partnership with The Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS, said: 'This year has generally been one of ‘steady-as-she-goes’ for the eating and drinking-out market. Despite the fact people are continuing to eat and drink out, the bulk of any uplift in consuming spending is largely going elsewhere, such as on bigger ticket consumer goods.
'Weekly numbers show that drink-led pubs performed strongly in the last weeks of the month, coinciding with the start of Rugby World Cup midway through September. But overall, restaurant chains still performed best throughout the month, with like-for-likes up 2.8% on last September. While drink-led pubs had a better month, also helped by better weather, pub groups collectively were ahead just 0.4%.'
New openings among the 32 participating companies were up 4.6% in September, and 5.5% for the year to date. Total sales for restaurant groups were up 7.5% for the month, and 10.6% ahead of last year outside of the M25. London’s like-for-likes up 0.9% against 1.3% for the rest of the country.