Managed pubs saw like-for-likes grow 1.7% over the month, while bar operators’ sales figures also rose – but only by 0.9%.
This growth was overshadowed by that of restaurant groups, which saw like-for-likes up 2.5%, mostly driven by companies outside London.
Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the tracker, in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM, said: “Reasonably good weather, in particular the lack of snow, will have helped sales but it is encouraging to see the public is continuing to go out to eat and drink.”
Davis Coffer Lyons executive director Trevor Watson noted that, last January, there was a 1.8% drop in like-for-likes against 2018.
He explained: “Essentially, we are back to where we were two years ago.
“But it does show an underlying stability in the market, despite the political climate and what has been going on in the wider economy.
“The eating and drinking-out market is showing resilience and people’s appetite for going out remains intact.
“There is a universal feeling of improved investor confidence, however, this has not yet translated into deal flow.
“The stabilised consumer confidence combined with a stronger investor mentality is likely to result in steady improvement as the year progresses. We are off to a decent start.”