Like-for-like sales grew 2.9 % at some of the largest pub and restaurant groups in December, according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
Festive celebrations and extra marketing effort helped to secure forward bookings for Christmas parties responsible for the growth.
According to figures submitted by 15 pub and restaurant companies, including Mitchells & Butlers, Whitbread, Gondola and Tragus, December's sales were also up 22% on November's and marked the ninth consecutive month of growth.
"The leading chains have worked hard to attract customers out of their homes, despite the weather, and that effort appears to have paid off," said Peter Martin of Peach Factory.
"This year, for example, more emphasis has been put on securing pre-booked business for bars and pubs, as well as restaurants, over the Christmas and New Year period."
However, the business tracker, run in partnership with KPMG, UBS and the Coffer Group, warned that sales may dip for the first time in nine months in January.
"The extremely poor weather in recent weeks particularly the first half of January, traditionally a quiet month anyway, could see a more significant drop in sales for the sector," said Richard Hathaway, head of Travel, Leisure and Tourism at KPMG.
Emma Eversham is web editor at bighospitality.co.uk