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Restaurants burned by the heatwave and World Cup

Published:  16 July, 2018

Restaurant groups suffered a drop in trade in June with pubs on the other hand basking in the sunshine as like-for-like sales rose.

Sales across restaurant groups were down 1.8% in June this year compared to the same period the previous year, but this was off-set by a 2.8% increase for managed pubs, leading to a combined 1.1% overall increase, according to CGA’s Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

With England’s World Cup run and the hot weather continuing into July – both always good news for pubs but less so for restaurants, CGA said it expected the trend to continue.

“The good news is that the usual drop off in restaurant sales during good weather and big sporting events is not cancelling out the boost for pubs and bars. Overall the market is up, and that follows a 1.4% increase for the sector as a whole in May,” said vice president Peter Martin, adding there would be a sense of optimism for many restaurants with the year-on-year fall at less than 2%.

Regionally London did better than the rest of the country, with pub sales up 3.7% and restaurants down just 0.4%, compared to a 2.3% like-for-like decline outside the M25.

“Not surprisingly, drink-led pubs have performed particularly well, and across the managed pub market drink sales were ahead 5.1%, with food up only 0.3%, for the month,” said Martin.

Total sales growth across the pub and restaurant cohort, which includes the effect of new openings, was 4.2% in June, reflecting continuing if slower brand roll-outs, and running at 3.8% for the 12 months to the end of the month.

The report also showed that underlying like-for-like growth was slowly improving after a tough period, running at 0.7% for the 12 months to the end of June, and up from 0.6% at the end of May.

The report ruled out that adverse publicity around the casual dining market was leading to reduced eating out and also suggested the effect of discounting in restaurants appeared to be marginal.

The Coffer Peach Tracker industry sales monitor for the UK pub, bar and restaurant sector collects and analyses performance data from 45 operating groups, with a combined turnover of over £9 billion.