11 December 2014

Eating-out growth boosts pub and restaurant groups

• November like-for-like sales up 3.4% nationally
• 20th consecutive month of like-for-like growth

Pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales grow 3.4% in November, against the same month last year. Latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker also showed that London remains more buoyant than the rest of the country with like-for-like sales up 6.1%, compared to 2.4% outside the M25.

“Managed pub groups saw 2.8% LFL growth, with casual dining chains up 4.8%,” said Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS. It was the 20th consecutive month of positive like-for-like growth for the sector.

“Eating-out is now ingrained in the British way-of-life, and for the pub groups in our sample, food sales are still growing faster than drink – up 4.0% in November against a 1.5% increase for drinks,” added Martin. “Overall, food sales account for an average 45% of revenue in managed pub chains.”

Total sales, which include the impact of new openings, were up 6.8% against last November across the 30 restaurant, bar and pub companies in the Tracker sample. Total sales for restaurant groups were ahead 10%, reflecting the continued roll-out of casual dining brands, especially outside of London.

“Looking at the underlying trend, the year-on-year like-for-like rate at the end of November was running at 2.9% up on 2013,” added Martin.

Trevor Watson, director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “The figures continue to show steady growth in the sector. Consumer spending power will be sustained in 2015 as a result of falling oil prices, which will help to ensure the casual dining and pub sectors continue on their upward trajectory in terms of sales figures. The London market continues to be the principal engine of the sector and we do not see any reason for this to change in the immediate future.”

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at Baker Tilly, added: “This month we again see another set of cracking results for a jubilant sector. Total sales growth continues to build a head of steam as the evenings have grown longer, posting 6.8% growth, which represents the highest monthly sales increase since April. The strong recent sales growth figures are particularly impressive against a backdrop of stagnant UK wages. The storming success of the recent Chilango and River Cottage fundraisings and the ensuing ownership battles for larger chains such as ASK/Zizzi and TGI Friday’s are testament to the sector’s attractiveness to small and large investors alike.”

Jarrod Castle, leisure analyst at UBS Investment Research, said: “LFL sales growth in November saw an acceleration at 3.4%, against October at 2.2%, September at 2.2%, 1.3% for August and 2.2% in July. This leaves the 12-month moving average growth rate at 2.9%.”

The Coffer Peach Tracker* industry sales monitor for the UK pub and restaurant sector collects and analyses monthly performance data from 28 operating groups, and is recognised as the established industry benchmark.

Coffer Peach Business Tracker is powered by Demographix

About Coffer Peach Business Tracker
CGA Peach collects sales figures directly 30 leading companies. Participants include Mitchells & Butlers* (owner of Harvester, Toby, Browns, All Bar One etc), Pizza Hut, Whitbread (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table), Pizza Express, Spirit Group (Flaming Grill, Fayre & Square), TGI Fridays, Tragus (Café Rouge, Bella Italia), Stonegate (Slug & Lettuce, Yates’), Marston’s, Gondola (Zizzi, ASK), Wagamama, YO! Sushi, Novus (Tiger Tiger), Fuller’s, Carluccio’s, Young’s, Living Ventures, Strada, Amber Taverns, Hall & Woodhouse, Gaucho, Las Iguanas, Intertain (Walkabout), Tattershall Castle Group, La Tasca, Giraffe, Loungers, Byron, Peach Pub Co and Le Bistrot Pierre. *includes Orchid Pub Co acquisition