BusinessPubs and BarsRestaurants

Restaurants left behind as heatwave and football boost pub takings

Britain’s pubs enjoyed a mini sales boom in June thanks to the hot weather and the start of the World Cup, the latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker have confirmed.

While managed pub and bar groups saw collective like-for-like sales rise 2.8% against last June, restaurant groups suffered a 1.8% fall in like-for-like trading. In this part of the sector, drink sales were up 5.1% whereas food saw an uptick of 0.3%. Overall, the combined managed pub, bar and restaurant sector saw like-for-likes up 1.1% in June.

Regionally London did better than the rest of the country in June, with pub sales up 3.7%, and restaurants down just 0.4%, compared to a 2.3% like-for-like decline outside the M25.

Underlying like-for-like growth for the 45 companies in the Tracker cohort, which represents both large and small groups, has shown an improvement with an increase of 0.7% for the 12 months to the end of June, and up from 0.6% at the end of May.

Total sales growth across the pub and restaurant cohort, which includes the effect of new openings, was 4.2% in June, reflecting continuing if slower brand rollouts, and running at 3.8% for the 12 months to the end of the month.

Peter Martin, vice president of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM, said: “Sun and football are usually good news for the pub trade – and with England’s World Cup run and the hot weather continuing into July, we should expect more positive trading.

“Better news is that the usual drop off in restaurant sales during good weather and big sporting events is not cancelling out the boost for pubs and bars. Overall the market is up, and that follows a 1.4% increase for the sector as a whole in May.”

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, added: “A month of sunshine and the World Cup may be good news for drinks led businesses but was always going to be tougher for food led operators.

“However, there will be a sense of optimism for many restaurants with the year-on-year fall at less than 2%. With the sun set to shine for the rest of July, it could turn out to be a bumper summer for pubs and bars as they look to take the lion’s share of consumer spending.”

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