Pub food sales outstrip drink in January

By James Wallin, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food sales, Public house, Coffee, Alcoholic beverage

Among the pub groups in the sample food sales outstripped drink in January
Among the pub groups in the sample food sales outstripped drink in January
Food sales outstripped drink in pubs during January, showing a 2.8% rise versus a 1.2% fall, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

The figures showed January like-for-like sales across the tracker up 1.4% - the 22nd​ consecutive month of growth.

Restaurants once again did better than pubs with a 4.1% and 0.2% rise respectively.

“Trading in the early part of the month suggested that January might have finished down on the same month last year, but a late surge in business saw the sector remain in positive growth,” said Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, the consultancy that produces the Tracker​, in partnership with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS.

“Perhaps it was down to the pay-day effect or just people tiring of ‘dry’ January, but the sector and in particular restaurants saw the benefit,” he added.

“The bad weather obviously had an impact, with sales only just ahead of last January, but the positive sales momentum remains there.

“It’s clear that eating-out is now engrained in the British way-of-life, and among the pub groups in our sample, food sales outstripped drink in January – up 2.8% against a 1.2% fall in drinks sales.”


Total sales, which include the impact of new openings, were up 5.8% against last January across the 30 restaurant, bar and pub companies in the Tracker sample. Trading in London was only marginally ahead of the rest of the country during January, up 1.8% against 1.3% outside the M25.

David Coffer, chairman of the Coffer Group, said: “These figures reflect the continuing demand for drink-led venues to include a substantial food offer and that these are becoming more sophisticated with increasingly interesting food and also drinks menus.

The quality of product now available across a wide range of operations, especially in central London, and to an ever greater extent outside of London, is galvanising the public’s interest in one-stop venues. We believe this will continue until ultimately there will be a virtually comprehensive merge of both.

“Demand for premises both in the capital and in important suburban and provincial centres is at an unprecedented level – the highest in our 50 years involvement in the market”, he added.


Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at Baker Tilly, added: “Almost two years of consecutive like-for-like growth for the UK eating and drinking out market continues to highlight growing consumer confidence. Total annual sales growth of 5.8%, more than double recently published GDP figures, indicates the success of the sector in attracting a greater share of disposable income. With an ever-growing number and breadth of concepts to choose from, it is no surprise that a significant proportion of each additional pound in earnings will be spent in them.

Jarrod Castle, leisure analyst at UBS Investment Research, said: “Sales growth for January was a deceleration from December and November, but this still leaves the 12-month moving average like-for-like growth rate at 2.1%. The 12-month moving average inside the M25 is 3.1%, while outside it is 1.7%.”

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More Food then Drink Sold in Restaurants!!

Posted by John Ellis,

If you survey 30 of the largest restaurant businesses, don't be surprised that they sell more food than drink. They probably always have and probably always will!

Many of us have noticed that the public are getting fed-up with "Dry January" being forced down their dry throats and have been drinking more accordingly. If the analysts had surveyed pubs, INSTEAD OF RESTAURANTS, they may well have found the opposite result to the one published!

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It depends on your view of the market...

Posted by RP,

The Coffer Peach Business Tracker covers managed operations only - where food sales are already accounting for a larger and larger proportion of sales. Many of the pub groups contributing to the CPBT will already see over 50% of their sales from dry (rather than wet) sales. This won't be true for the entire market (where there are still a large number of wet led pubs), but does reflect how managed groups are operating their pubs.

So the answer is yes and no (depending on how big you view the market).

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Total Food Sales Greater Than Drunk Sales?

Posted by Martin Carmichael,

Food sales outstrip drink sales? This article only mentions percentage increases and decreases but gives no figures so we don't know if the headline - that food sales are greater than drink sales in pubs - is correct or not.

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