Rugby and half-term help boost October pub and restaurant sales

12 November 2015

  • Collective like-for-likes up 2.5 per cent on same month last year
  • London outperforms rest of Britain

Britain’s eating and drinking-out sector saw sales pick up in October, according to latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Collective like-for-like sales for managed pub and restaurant chains were up 2.5 per cent against the same month last year, an improvement on the 1.2 per cent growth seen in September.

'It looks like a combination of the school half-term break and the final stages of the Rugby World Cup lifted sales, with London overall benefiting most,' said Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group, RSM and UBS.

London saw like-for-like sales up 3.8 per cent on last October, while outside the M25 the increase was 2.1 per cent. Total sales, including the impact of new openings, were ahead 6.1 per cent nationally.

'Managed pubs overall enjoyed a 2.7 per cent LFL increase, with London contributing most of that with a 6.12 per cent jump, compared to a more modest 1.6 per cent gain outside,' said Martin. 'Much of that will undoubtedly be down to the rugby. Drink-led pubs did a bit better than food-led establishments, but even then both drink and food sales benefited.'

'The story for casual dining brands was almost the reverse, however, with national LFLs up 2.2 per cent, but with London flat and the rest of the country up 3.4 per cent. It looks like school holidays helped there,' he added.

Paul Newman, Head of Leisure and Hospitality at RSM, added: 

'October has provided an excellent set of numbers for eating and drinking out operators, again demonstrating the sector’s robust demand profile in the face of an increasingly uncertain world economic outlook. Availability of sites in prime locations continues to be challenging although the past few months has seen a wave of commercial and transport development schemes reaching completion in cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester. This has provided opportunities for operators with deeper pockets who can manage longer site maturity profiles and who will prove to be the likely winners over time.'

The Coffer Peach Tracker industry sales monitor for the UK pub and restaurant sector collects and analyses monthly performance data from 31 operating groups, and is recognised as the established industry benchmark. CGA Peach is part of CGA Strategy.

Pub and restaurant group sales performance for last 12 months

  Nov  Dec Jan  Feb Mar Apr  May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
LFLs  3.4% 1.9%  1.3% 1.6% -
1.2% 2.1% 1.7% 1.1% 0.6% 1.2% 2.5%
Total 6.8% 5.6%  5.8% 5.8% 3.7% 5.2% 6.2% 5.8% 4.8% 4.3% 4.6% 6.1%

Source: Coffer Peach Business Tracker