However, restaurants continue to struggle, with collective like-for-likes down 1.5%, according to the data compiled by CGA. London also outperformed the rest of the UK, with like-for-likes up 0.8% compared to flat trading across the rest of the country.
Overall like-for-like sales were up 0.2% nationally against February 2017, despite poor weather and a number of high-profile restaurant closures.
Industry benchmark for sales stats
The Coffer Peach Tracker industry sales monitor for the UK pub, bar and restaurant sector collects and analyses performance data from 39 operating groups, and is recognised as the established industry benchmark.
CGA vice-president Peter Martin said: “Most of the effects of the major snow disruption will show up in the March data but, even so, to come out effectively even for February as a whole shows the resilience of both the sector and consumers.”
Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at services firm RSM, said that the snow that affected many parts of the country earlier this month could not have come at a worse time for the sector. “Operators would have been looking to shore up their finances ahead of March’s quarterly rent demands,” he said.
“This deadline typically coincides with a working capital low point for many and on the back of February’s weak data, could be the catalyst for further site closures and restructurings.”
Market remains stable
Coffer Corporate Leisure managing director Mark Sheehan added: "Contrary to media reports, the eating and drinking-out market remains stable, as these figures show.
“The restaurant sector has had terrible press over the past few weeks but, in reality, consumers are still eating out. We also continue to see pub operators outperforming restaurants.”
Meanwhile, wet-led pubs saw a 0.2% rise in revenues compared to February 2017, according to the latest data from Catton Hospitality.