Sales rise at pubs, bars and restaurants in January

Britain’s managed pub, bar and restaurant sector saw collective like-for-like sales increase by 1.9% in January, according to the latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM, said “reasonably good weather” and a lack of snow helped to boost sales.

Regionally, London had a “tougher time” but still saw like-for-likes up 0.7% compared with 2.3% outside the M25. Restaurant groups also saw the biggest increase in January, with like-for-like sales up 2.5%, driven almost entirely by strong sales outside of London.

Managed pubs saw like-for-like sales rise 1.7% over the month. January’s positive results come on the back of strong trading over the festive period, which saw collective like-for-like sales increase 2.5% against the previous year.

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, said: “A year-over-year sales boost is a welcome reward for the many pubs, bars and restaurants who refined their New Year offering to capitalise on the trends for Veganuary and alcohol alternative drinks.

“Any sales increase will be welcomed by a sector that still faces tremendous cost pressures, particularly around people, business rates and food prices. Operators will eagerly await any news on the easing of such costs from Sajid Javid’s upcoming budget announcement.”

Trevor Watson, executive director at Davis Coffer Lyons, added: “To put these figures in context, last January the market saw a 1.8% drop in like-for-likes against 2018, so essentially we are back to where we were two years ago.

“But it does show an underlying stability in the market, despite the political climate and what has been going on in the wider economy. The eating and drinking out market is showing resilience and people’s appetite for going out remains intact.”

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