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Spending falls in pubs and restaurants as consumers stay home

By Oliver Haill

Date: Monday 16 Oct 2017

Spending falls in pubs and restaurants as consumers stay home

(ShareCast News) - Pubs, bars and restaurants last month endured their biggest sales fall in a year, with London restaurants hardest hit in an industry facing a squeezed consumer and rising costs.
Like-for-likes sales fell 0.9% in September compared to the same month last year, according to the CGA's Coffer Peach business tracker, which takes a monthly survey from 38 large chains.

London restaurants worst hit with collective like-for-likes down 3.2%, though sales in pubs and bars in London were down just 0.5%.

Across pubs and restaurants sector, trading was generally better outside the M25, down just 0.7%, compared to a fall of 1.6% in the capital.

Restaurants sales away from the capital actually grew 0.2%.

Total sales from the 38 companies in the Tracker cohort, including the impact of new openings, was 2.6%, down from three months above 3.5%.

“CGA's Peter Martin said falling sales come on top of rising costs around property, tax, staff and raw materials were increasing pressure on margins.

"“Interestingly, these weaker eating-out numbers come in a month when retail sales grew, fuelled in part by higher food prices in supermarkets, which may have helped dampened out-of-home eating," he said.

Martin tried to take some heart from the data: "although sales are sluggish and hard won at least they are not suffering the way other parts of the economy are, such as car sales".

“September's fall follows slow LFL growth of 0.2% in August and two months at 0.6% after a fall of 0.4% in May.

The Coffer Peach cohort includes Mitchells & Butlers, Pizza Hut, Whitbread, Pizza Express, The Restaurant Group, Greene King's Spirit Group, Casual Dining Group, Stonegate, Marstons, Wagamama, Carluccio’s, Youngs, Giraffe, Byron, All Star Lanes, Le Pain Quotidien, Honest Burgers and the pubs in the Downing-Antic partnership.

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