Strong London economy boosts October restaurant and pub sales

By Lauren Houghton contact

- Last updated on GMT

The UK’s pub and restaurant groups enjoyed a sales boost in October
The UK’s pub and restaurant groups enjoyed a sales boost in October

Related tags: Casual dining, Public house

The UK’s pub and restaurant groups enjoyed a sales boost in October with like-for-like sales up 2.2 per cent nationally, mostly driven by the strong London market.

The latest data from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker showed a rise in like-for-like sales of 4.1 per cent inside the M25, compared to the previous October.

Like-for-like sales from pubs and bars outside the M25 remained essentially flat in October, meaning they remained the weakest part of this market. This followed the same pattern as September’s results.

“Managed pubs in London had a particularly good month, as they have had for most of the year,” said vice president of CGA Peach Peter Martin.

“Casual dining chains in the capital also traded strongly. But while the London market is getting better same-store growth, the chains, and in particular casual dining brands, are increasingly investing in opening new sites outside the M25.”

Expansion outside London

The expansion of restaurant and pub groups outside the M25 is reflected in the total sales growth across the 29 operators which were included in the Tracker survey. This showed total sales to be up 5.7 per cent on last October, with restaurant group sales up 11 per cent.

Director at Davis Coffer Lyons Trevor Watson said: "The October figures highlight that in the corporate casual dining market, the rate of new store openings is significantly greater away from London. This is largely because of greater availability of sites and the improved returns available in these areas.

“The London market is vibrant with rents at record levels, with overseas and independent operators dominating. This is typical for this phase of the cycle. Trading performance continues to be strong both in the capital and across the country as economic recovery strengthens and the prospects of an imminent interest rate rise recede."

Consecutive growth

The October results mark the 19th consecutive month of growth for the UK eating and drinking out market. Head of leisure and hospitality at Baker Tilly Paul Newman claimed this was a ‘fantastic achievement’.

“As we turn towards the longer, colder evenings, it is the managed pub chains that still appear to be leading the way and we expect to see this run of form continue into the winter months,” Newman explained.

“Innovative fit-outs incorporating comfortable surroundings with a wide selection of craft beers together with a quality food offering is driving this resurgence, particularly within London and larger cities around the UK.”

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