Average sales in managed venues in the week to Saturday (23 September) were 3% behind the same period last year.
However, that week was inflated by the one-off bank holiday for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, which drove footfall to pubs around the country.
Year-on-year sales were down by 21 on 22% last Sunday and Monday (17 and 18 September) as a result.
However, sales picked up after the tough comparative weekend, peaking at 12% ahead on Tuesday (19 September).
Last weekend was flatter, with sales down 2% on Friday (22 September) and up 3% on Saturday (23 September).
Jonathan Jones, CGA managing director for UK and Ireland, said that last year’s bank holiday meant drinks sales this week fell short, but recent trends suggest the on premise has made a “solid start” to autumn.
He added: “Drinks sales at this time of year are closely tied to the weather, so Storm Agnes will create tricky trading conditions this week.
“As we move towards the final quarter of the year, all operators will need to be at the top of their game to maintain footfall and achieve growth.”
Drinks categories were generally unchanged last week, with beer and cider in marginal year-on-year growth of 2% and 1% respectively, and wine and soft drinks both down by 2%.
The exception was the spirits category, where sales fell 14% behind the equivalent week in 2022 to continue a long run of weak comparisons.