After the bumper summer of 2018, pubs and bars experienced a decline in like-for-likes sales in June, while in comparison the restaurant trade picked up by.

Data compiled by the CGA Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which observes sales at 50 leading brands across the food and drink sector, found that sales dropped at pubs and bars by 1.2%, while drinks sales dropped by 2.2%.

The heatwave we experienced last year as well as England’s relatively long campaign in the World Cup is said to have helped boost the trade. Meanwhile, restaurant chains, which struggled for the same reason’s pubs thrived, experienced a like for like boost of 6.1% once the summer was over.

Karl Chessell, director of CGA, said: “Last June, pub and bar groups saw sales jump 2.8%, while restaurants suffered a 1.8% decline. This June the roles have been reversed, with more sedate conditions favouring eating rather than drinking out.

“It demonstrates how outside factors still influence trading patterns. The underlying good news is that the market overall still grew, if modestly, by 1.4%, despite all the current political uncertainty, predictions of tumbling consumer confidence and flat trading in May”.

When including newly opened sites under the monitored brands, overall sales were ahead by 3.7% as firms capitalised on the void left by struggling competitors.

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, said: “A number of high-profile restaurant closures in recent months has culminated in a net reduction of sites in June, leaving those operators that remain to benefit from reduced competition. We put much of this month’s increase in like-for-like sales down to supply and demand approaching a more even keel. There are certainly more challenges ahead, but these results will be pleasing news to embattled food-led operators.”

Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash