During the week of the riots which hit many parts of London and other major cities, the market was down overall by less than 2 per cent. However, collective like-for-like sales were up 0.6 per cent against the same time last year, with total sales (including the effect of new openings) up 3.7 per cent on August 2010.
These are the findings of the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which monitors the sales performance of 23 major pub and restaurant operators.
“Taken overall, the eating and drinking out sector has come through surprisingly well, thanks in large part to the public who have continued to go out to eat and drink,” said Peter Martin of Peach Factory, the market consultancy which produces the sector Tracker, in partnership with KPMG, UBS and the Coffer Group.
“But this is not to diminish the devastation caused to individual businesses caught in the centre of the rioting nor the disruption caused across the wider market as sites were forced to close at the height of the trouble.
“Unsurprisingly, the restaurant sector with more high street and urban locations had a much-tougher time than the pub and pub-restaurant sector and did see an overall decline in sales over August because of the riots.”
Commenting on the statistics, Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, part of the Coffer Group, said: “These figures are very encouraging and better than we would have expected given the combination of the riots, economic concerns and a very soggy August, which have all had a knock-on effect on consumer spend across the country.
"The economic outlook may be uncertain but cash is still being spent.”
The figures also show that pub and restaurant chains continued to out-perform the retail sector. According to the British Retail Consortium / KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, like-for-like retail sales fell 0.6 per cent in August.
Richard Hathaway, head of travel, leisure and tourism at KPMG in the UK, added: “Although year-on-year the sector has seen some growth and continues to outperform the general retail sector, performance has been essentially flat, bearing in mind inflation as well as the increase in VAT, which will be responsible for some of the growth.”