London trading lags businesses outside of the capital with those only dropping 0.5% compared to a 0.9% fall inside the M25.
CGA director Karl Chessell said: “Drink-led pubs did marginally better, with a 0.3% like-for-like increase over the month, but there was no big boost coming from customers wanting to watch the rugby on TV in the bar – probably due to the early morning kick-offs.”
No real growth
Chessell continued: “October is usually a quiet month in the eating and drinking-out world – the lull before the Christmas rush – and so it has proved. Essentially, we are continuing to see a flat market.
“People are still going out, but there is no real growth.”
Despite London’s results, Coffer Corporate Leisure managing director Mark Sheehan said the strength of the London market is being driven by independents, not captured by the stats rather than branded concepts.
Sheehan said: “The eating and drinking-out market is relatively stable despite dampened consumer confidence. This is reflecting the combined political and economic uncertainty not seen since the middle of the last century.”
Escaping the barrage
Tracker tracks sales across 58 leading pub, bar and restaurant companies, which since this time last year, were ahead 2.3% compared to last October.
RSM senior manager Saxon Moseley said: “Against a backdrop of ongoing political and economic uncertainty, together with a wet and windy start to the autumn, operators will be quietly satisfied with like-for-likes that broadly match last year’s numbers.
“With the starting gun fired on a winter election, hopes will be raised that voters will look to escape the barrage of doorstep campaigners by hot-footing it to their local pubs and restaurants during the all-important festive trading period.”