According to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker figures, like-for-like sales across the 30 businesses monitored, including Pizza Express, TGI Friday's and Fullers, collectively rose 1.6 per cent with many brands outside London responsible for fuelling the growth.
“February marked the 23rd consecutive month of positive like-for-like sales for the sector. It is showing steady but consistent growth, which illustrates the underlying strength of the market and the public’s desire to continue to go out to eat and drink,” said Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, the consultancy that produces the tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS.
“Casual dining brands are currently leading the sector, collectively recording a 3.4 per cent like-for-like sales increase in February, including a 4.6 per cent uplift for brands outside of the M25. Not only are groups opening new sites, but right across the market are now actively investing in refreshing their propositions and also being quicker to dispose of underperforming sites, so maintaining that positive sales momentum."
Martin said London was the 'brightest spot' for managed pubs while drink-led pubs and bars in London saw a 2.7 per cent like-for-like rise. Business was 'essentially flat' at pubs outside the capital.