Pub and restaurant trading remains steady during June

July 13, 2017

The British public is continuing to go out to eat and drink,
despite growing concerns about a weakening of consumer confidence, latest
figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker show.

Managed pub and restaurant groups
reported collective like-for-like sales up 0.6% in June against the same month
last year. They come after a 0.4% decline in May.

“Fears of consumers cutting back on
spending so far appear premature, at least when it comes to going to the pub or
restaurant,” said Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the
Tracker, in partnership with Coffer
Group
and RSM.

The Coffer Peach figures, collected
from 36 companies across the country, show that pub and bar groups saw
collective like-for-likes sales up 1.1% on June 2016, with casual dining
restaurant chains marginally down 0.2%.

“The good weather in June will have
helped pubs rather than restaurants, but a positive return across the market,
even if modest, is good news,” added Martin. “We essentially have a flat
market, which considering the uncertainty in the wider economy and the
increasing cost pressures that the out-of-home market is experiencing, will be
welcomed by operators.”

Overall, London had the best of the
trading, with like-for-likes up 1.2%, against a 0.4% rise outside of the M25.
London pubs had a particularly good month with like-for-likes up 2.4%.

“We know from our CGA business
confidence survey that in the light of spiralling raw material costs,
especially food, over 80% of pub and restaurant operators have already pushed
through at least some price increases on food and drink this year. Although
that hasn’t boosted sales in any significant way, neither has it depressed them
or significantly deterred customers, it seems,” Martin added.

Total sales growth in June among the Tracker
cohort was 3.7%, reflecting the continuing if more subdued effect of new
openings over the year. The underlying annual sales trend shows sector
like-for-likes running at 1.4% ahead for the 12 months to the end of June.

Trevor Watson,
Executive Director, Valuations of Davis
Coffer Lyons
said, “Undoubtedly the favourable weather will have
improved wet led trade in particular. The impact of terrorist attacks on London
wet led venues appears to have been relatively modest compared with previous
incidents. DCL is experiencing high levels of activity with large numbers of
both buyers and sellers for all forms of licensed property at present with a
perceived change in market sentiment approaching.”

Paul Newman,
head of leisure and hospitality at RSM,
added: “The pub sector has benefitted from June’s spectacular hot spell,
particularly those operators with river based pubs and large gardens. Despite
the additional cost pressures and general economic uncertainty, the resilience
of this month’s results with a return to positive like-for-like sales is
encouraging. Operators who offer the consumer an affordable experience will
continue to thrive and prosper in the current environment.

The Coffer Peach Tracker industry sales
monitor for the UK pub and restaurant sector collects and analyses monthly
performance data from 36 operating groups, and is recognised as the established
industry benchmark. CGA Peach is part of CGA Strategy.