London's restaurants were boosted by Christmas bookings last month but continued to report year-on-year drop in profits, according to the monthly Restaurant Barometer.
The survey, conducted by Government agency Business Link in London, showed that, compared to October, footfall, consumer spend and profits were up at 58% of restaurants in the capital.
Trade was boosted by Christmas parties, with a third of operators saying bookings for festive lunches were high.
However, when compared with November last year, the business environment remains tough, with more than half (58%) of operators reporting a decrease in profits, customer numbers and spend.
While 60% of restaurants said they were currently profitable and 50% plan to expand in the coming months, only 17% said they had been able to secure finance.
"Margins have been seriously affected in 2009. We've been trying to cover all the bills, VAT and taxes on time," said one operator in the survey.
"We believe 2010/11 will be more of the same and the take off will be in 2012 together with the Olympics."
By Kerstin Kuhn
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