Pub and restaurant groups achieved “solid” numbers in August with collective like-for-like sales up 1.6% year-on-year.
Wet-led pubs – especially those in London – were the best performers, seeing growth of 4.1% driven by a late month heat wave, according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
Pub groups saw drink sales up 3.8% over the month, with food sales marginally down 0.1%.
Restaurant groups had a more subdued month, following a good July, with collective like-for-like trading down, but only by 0.2%.
Karl Chessell, director of business insight consultancy CGA, which produces the tracker in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM, said: “The weather, as is often the case, played a big part in shaping sales, with the hot weather in the run-up to and during the bank holiday weekend boosting pub trading and suppressing restaurant sales.
“The good news is that, even with the uneven effect of the weather, the underlying performance was 1.6% up on last August, following growth of 1.2% in July.”
Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “These are solid numbers generally with pub sales again outperforming restaurants partly helped by the weather.
“Consumer habits are changing fast especially in the restaurant sector, evidenced by The Restaurant Group announcing that they are to close up to half of their mainstream restaurants over time. Until recently these were seen as the best portfolio of sites in the market and demonstrates the difficulties being experienced by many restaurant chains.”