Managed pub sales continued to outshine restaurants after a bumper summer for drinks-based operations, according to the results of the monthly Coffer Peach Tracker.
Pub like-for-like sales picked with 1.9% growth in September as wet offerings continued from the momentum of the summer's heatwave. Also continuing the summer's trend were restaurant sales, down 0.2% compared to September last year.
Karl Chessell, director at CGA, said: "As ever, the good weather played a big role, and although restaurants as a whole failed to benefit, it provided an overall boost for the out-of-home market as the public were tempted out.
"London pubs and bars also had the best of the trading with like-for-likes up 3%. It's also worth noting that within those national managed pub numbers, food sales were flat, with drink sales up 3%,"
Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, added: "While food-led operators continue to face tougher trading conditions, the wet-led end of the market is trading strongly.
"Growth in the traditional pub market is being fuelled by the premiumisation of drinks offers, with craft beers, artisan spirits and cocktails driving sales up by 1.9% compared to a year ago.
"We see this trend continuing in the all-important run-up to Christmas."