The latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker showed a 4.3 per cent increase in total sales compared to the same month in 2013, including the impact of new openings.
“These latest figures from 28 leading chains show that the public continues to go out and spend on eating and drinking out,” said Peter Martin of CGA Peach.
“Growth is more steady than spectacular, but the sector is becoming an important barometer of consumer confidence, as operators continue to invest in new sites and improving their offerings in what is a competitive market.”
Looking at the long-term trend, year-on-year like-for-like sales were 3 per cent higher for the 12 months up to the end of July 2014, with total sales 5.4 per cent up.
“Interestingly, businesses outside of London did better in July than those inside the M25, up 2.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively against the same time last year. This may be down to the weather, the start of the school holidays or perhaps the reported increase in ‘staycation’ holidays this year. Whatever, it will be a welcome boost as London has generally been outperforming the rest of the country,” Martin added.
Drink-led pub sales decline
Food-led pubs and branded restaurant chains in the regions showed a 4.1 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, while drink-led pubs and bars saw sales decline slightly.
Trevor Watson, director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “Sustained like-for-like sales growth is particularly impressive when set against a background of accelerating new restaurant and pub openings nationwide. Travelling families returning from overseas holidays will be reminded of the quality, value for money and choice available in UK restaurants. As a nation we can be very proud of our highly developed eating out sector.”
Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at Baker Tilly, added: “The eating and drinking out market outside of London is well into a period of catch-up, with like for like sales tracking ahead of the capital for three of the past four months. The UK market as a whole is still experiencing steady growth which bodes well for the rest of the calendar year.”