London on-trade outperforms regions for eighth consecutive month
Restaurants and pubs inside the M25 outperformed the rest of the country in November for the eighth month in a row, according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
Nationwide the major chains saw a bounce-back in November given half-term holidays as like-for-like sales were up 3.4% on the same month last year.
This comes after a 1.7% like-for-like sales decline in October caused by school holidays in many parts of the country being in November this year against October last.
Total sales among the 24 companies contributing to the Tracker data were up 6.5% in November, against a 1.6% increase in October, refelcting the number of new openings.
“School half terms are invariably a good time for eating-out sales, with London trading ahead of the rest of the country last month and restaurant chains doing marginally better than pubs too,” said Peter Martin of Peach Factory. But he said the half-term boost at the beginning of November “masked a more sober performance” for the rest of the month, which Martin attributed to people staying in to save cash for Christmas.
Figures for the 12 months to the end of October show combined year-on-year like-for-like sales running ahead 1.5%, broadly in line with the general trend for 2012.
Trevor Watson, director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “The resurgent figures for November show there is continued long term steady growth in food and drink spending away from the home, particularly inside the M25. Many operators are hoping for favourable weather in the run up to the holiday season to support seasonal sales.”
Ali Aneizi, co-head of leisure and hospitality at Baker Tilly, added: “The November like for likes are a much welcome reversal of the decline posted in October. It’s now all hands on deck for the festive season with many operators banking on a bumper trading period. However, it remains to be seen what will happen in December. The industry has some way to go to beat the 9.9% like for likes posted in December 2011. As far as regional variances are concerned, London has again outperformed the rest of the country, a trend which has continued for eight months in a row.”
The Coffer Peach Business Tracker is compiled by business intelligence firm the Peach Factory, in partnership with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS. It collects and analyses monthly performance data from 24 operating groups, representing combined annual turnover of over £6 billion, and including Mitchells & Butlers, Whitbread, Gondola and Wagamama.