The latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker show a 1.9 per cent increase in like-for-likes last month. This follows a 1.2 per cent increase in May and marginal growth in April,suggesting a modest recovery for the eating and drinking out market after a weather-hit winter and spring.
The London market was the star performer, with collective like-for-likes up 5.1 per cent in June. The same month last year was somewhat distorted by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Euro 2012 which had a negative effect on many of the capital’s casual dining businesses.
“London saw strong trading from both chain restaurants and managed pubs,” said Peter Martin from Peach Factory. “Outside of the capital, however, pub sales were flat, with drink-led pubs seeing a like-for-like sales decline.
“People are continuing to go out to eat and drink, but there is no single narrative for the market. Behind the headline figures, there are real and important differences regionally and between types of operation. It points to a still highly-competitive market, with operators needing to keep close track of changing customer habits.”
Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at Baker Tilly, added: “The British consumer’s love affair with eating and drinking out continues to bloom, with the warm weather proving a very effective aphrodisiac. Coupled with improved consumer confidence and the BCC’s surprise upgrading of UK GDP growth forecasts, the outlook for continued growth in the eating and drinking out sector is certainly encouraging.
“The past month has seen significant capital being invested in new site openings, with the high-profile Shake Shackand Five Guysin London both generating 30-minute-plus lunchtime queues and on-going estate investment, with Intertain reportedly generating 80 per cent ROI on its revitalised Walkabout sites.
“The fight for market share is hotting up and operators need to ensure they have the financial flexibility to continue responding to the discerning UK consumer’s changing needs.”
Peach Factory collects sales figures directly 27 leading companies for the Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Participants include Mitchells & Butlers, Pizza Hut, Whitbread, Gondola and Young’s.