Managed pub groups and restaurants saw January’s collective like-for-like sales increase by 1.4% on last year, according to figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, said: “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. 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.”
Pub groups saw a small like-for-like increase of 0.2% whilst restaurants experienced a 4.1% rise.
But despite drinks sales falling by 1.2%, pub food sales saw growth of 2.8%.
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.”
He added: “We believe this will continue until ultimately there will be a virtually comprehensive merge of both.”
Total sales were up 5.8% on last January, with trading in London only marginally ahead of the rest of the UK, up 1.8% against 1.3% outside the city.