Like-for-like sales at major pub and restaurant groups in Britain went up 0.8 per cent in August, and up 3.7 per cent on July's figures, showing a steady rise in trade over the summer.
According to the latest monthly figures from 13 of the biggest operators, compiled by the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, these businesses are surviving thanks mostly to heavy promotional activity, but are also growing their collective market share at the expense of competition.
"The implication is that smaller and independent operators are the ones most feeling the spending pinch," said Peach Factory's Peter Martin.
The latest numbers come on the back of a 1 per cent like-for-like gain in July, 0.4 per cent in June and 0.6 per cent in May.
However, Richard Hathaway, head of Travel, Leisure and Tourism at KPMG, who runs the report with Peach Factory, UBS and Coffer Group, said although companies may be surviving the recession, they would have to work hard when it ended to build profit margins up.
"The promotional strategies of the major restaurant operators continue to be effective in delivering growth. but when the recession finally ends, and this may unfortunately be a while off yet, the hard work of raising margins back up to pre credit crunch levels will have to begin in earnest.", he said.