Pub and restaurant groups see steady sales growth in July

Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales grow 1.2% in July compared with the same time last year.

The latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker show restaurant chains recovering strongly after a “poor” summer in 2018.

Restaurant groups saw like-for-like sales up a healthy 3.8% against last July, when trading was hit by hot weather and World Cup football. Managed pubs, which had a bumper July because of the World Cup and the sunny weather, saw sales slip back this July, but only to -0.2%.

Regionally, trading outside of the M25 was slightly better than in London, up 1.3% against a 1.0%. Restaurants also had a better time outside of London, up 4.3% against 2.4%, while pubs held up better in London, with like-for-like growth of 0.1% against a 0.3% decline outside.

Total sales across the 54 companies in the Tracker, which includes the effect of net new openings since this time last year, were ahead 3.6% compared to last July.

Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM, said: “Considering the barnstorming July that pubs had last year, holding relatively steady this July will be seen as a good performance, and restaurant groups will be more than relieved with their sales recovery.”

Trevor Watson, executive director, valuations at Davis Coffer Lyons, added: “These figures are very much ‘steady as she goes’ for both the pub and restaurant sectors. Pub like-for-likes were always going to be challenging against a World Cup year and the exceptional weather of 2018.

“Decent weather in 2019 as well has no doubt helped sustain performance on the wet-led side. We continue to see very good results from quality operators with good demand for new sites across the country from both established and emerging operators across both sectors.”

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