Pub and restaurant groups enjoyed an upbeat start to 2014 thanks to the weather with collective like-for-like sales up by 7.2 percent on January 2013, a month that was badly affected by snow. Total sales, including the impact of new openings, were ahead 10.1 percent.
The latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker come on the back of a strong festive trading period for the nation’s pub, bar and restaurant groups, that saw like-for-like sales up 3.3 percent during the six weeks to 4th January.
The Coffer Peach Tracker collects and analyses data from 27 leading pub, restaurant and bar groups. Looking at the longer-term trend, collective like-for-like sales for the group for the 12 months up to the end of January were running at 2.4 percent a head of the previous year.
David Coffer, Chairman of the Coffer Group, says these figures reflect a continuing positive feeling that we are seeing throughout the sector: “It is particularly heartening to see the growth outside the M25, which affirms the progressive confidence in the suburbs and provinces from operators with less dependence upon the Greater London area.
“It is now fully accepted that these non-London locations offer great opportunities in terms of value and customer support. This may well be an indication that central London is becoming overheated in terms of property costs. January’s figures indicate that we, as an industry, are coming out of recession fully – 2014 continues to look promising as a result.”
Jarrod Castle, Leisure Analyst at UBS Investment Research, says this is the strongest month of LFL growth since December 2011: “Food led pubs and casual dining chains were the best performers, and this continues a trend we have seen in recent months of strong growth within the eating out sector, and faster growth in food sales within the wet-let pubs. The 12-month moving average of LFL growth was lacklustre throughout 2013, finishing the year at just under 0.9 percent. But the strong performance this month skews the data, leading to a more positive result of 1.7 percent, the highest since March 2012.”