Average like-for-like sales across some of the UK’s biggest casual dining chains rose 1.4% last month, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker - which monitors 47 groups including Wagamama, Gaucho and Pizza Express.
It follows a difficult July for the hospitality market, which saw flat growth overall and restaurant group sales drop 4.8% amid the hot weather.
Regionally, London performed better than the rest of the country, with August like-for-like sales up 1.5% on the same period last year, while outside the M25 trading was up just 0.4%.
“These latest figures will come as a huge relief for restaurant operators, who have been under the cosh of late, not least because of the early summer heatwave which was great news for Britain’s pubs as the public headed outdoors, but little help for the country’s restaurant chains,” says Karl Chessell, director at CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM.
“More mixed weather during August and a damp bank holiday weekend will have helped the casual dining market.”
Total sales growth across the pub and restaurant sector, which includes the effect of new openings, was 3.2% in August, which the tracker says reflects a slowdown in brand roll-outs.