The latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which collects sales figures from 27 leading companies, saw like-for-like sales inside the M25 grow by 2.3 per cent in October, while total sales rose by 3.9 per cent reflecting the continued roll out of new sites.
However, casual dining experienced a tougher October than pubs and bars – although restaurant chains in London were in positive growth, nationally like-for-like sales were down 0.7 per cent for the month.
Overall, the figures revealed a positive longer-term trend for the sector with year-on-year like-for-likes for the 12 months up to the end of October climbing 1.5 per cent on the previous 12 months. Total sales growth was also up by 4.5 per cent.
“It was a better overall performance than September, when like-for-likes grew just 0.4 per cent, but practically all the underlying growth in the eating and drinking out market is coming from London,” Peter Martin of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy which produces the Tracker said. “Outside the M25 saw only a modest 0.4 per cent like-for-like rise in October.”
Martin said the buoyancy of the London economy was helping the sector, in particular pubs.
“There is a different pub and bar culture, especially after work, in the capital, but the question for pub groups is whether there is something else about London pubs that can be exported to re-energise their estates in the rest of the country? For casual dining chains the question is more about whether their focus on new site openings outside of London is affecting their like-for-like performances in established sites?” he said.