RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, UK

Restaurant groups LFL sales down 0.2% in August

Pub sales have outpaced restaurant sales thanks to the hot weather.

Britain’s pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like (LFL) sales grow 1.6% YoY in August, with drink-led pubs being the best performers, latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker show.

Meanwhile, restaurant groups the collective LFL trading went down by 0.2% over the same period. The report noted that pub sales has outperformed restaurant sales thanks to the hot weather.

“The weather, as is often the case, played a big part in shaping sales, with the hot weather in the run-up to and during the bank holiday weekend boosting pub trading and suppressing restaurant sales,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA.

“Consumer habits are changing fast especially in the restaurant sector, evidenced by The Restaurant Group announcing that they are to close up to half of their mainstream restaurants over time. Until recently these were seen as the best portfolio of sites in the market and demonstrates the difficulties being experienced by many restaurant chains,” said Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure.

Furthermore, RSM’s head of leisure and hospitality Paul Newman stated that food operators may continue to struggle in meeting upcoming quarterly rent bills as well as consumers being cautious to balance their household budgets by cutting back on eating out.

On a regional basis, London performed better than the rest of Britain, with LFL trading up 2.9%, against 1.2% for outside the M25. Restaurant groups in the capital were also in positive territory, up 0.5% against minus 0.5% outside.

Total sales across all companies in the Tracker, which include the effect of net new openings since this time last year, were ahead 4.3% compared to last August.

Underlying LFL growth for the Tracker cohort, which represents both large and small groups, was running at 1.7% YoY.

Photo credit: A P Monblat, Wikimedia Commons

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