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Wed 15th Jan 2020 - Sector like-for-likes up 2.5% over festive period as wet-led businesses lead the way
Sector like-for-likes up 2.5% over festive period as wet-led businesses lead the way: Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw like-for-like sales grow 2.5% in the six weeks to 5 January 2020 compared with the previous year, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Trading was positive across all parts of the market. Restaurant chains saw a 2.3% uplift in like-for-likes, with managed pub and bar groups up 2.7% on 2018. Wet-led pubs outperformed their food-led counterparts, but food sales also did well. Across the managed pub sector, drink sales were up 2.4%, with food up 2.2%. “It has been a challenging year for the eating and drinking-out market so these figures will be a welcome boost for operators,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM. “Christmas and New Year is a vital time for the industry so to see positive growth is good news. These results underline the fact people still want to go out and enjoy themselves over the holiday period but also emphasise how important this time of year is to the health of the market and that operators have to keep creating good reasons for people to go out. For the first time, the Coffer Peach Tracker has been able to pull out separate figures for bar companies in the Tracker cohort, providing a more detailed analysis of the trading landscape. While the whole market performed well, the star performers were bar businesses, which saw a collective 3.9% uplift in like-for-like sales.” Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “There is a post-election sense of optimism, and food and drink consumers have driven the first wave of this during the pre-Christmas period. We are starting to see cautious confidence in the market, although we expect any uplift in trade and consumer confidence to be steady rather than spectacular. We expect market activity in 2020 to increase on 2019 levels.” Total sales during the six-week festive period, which include the effect of new openings since this time last year, were ahead 5.4% compared with the same period in 2018.

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