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UK bars report 1.8% rise in drink sales over Christmas

Britain’s pub and restaurant groups saw drink sales rise by 1.8% over the 2017 festive period, according to figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Like-for-like drink sales were up by 1.8% over the festive period

New figures released today show that managed pub groups across the UK saw a small increase in trade, with total sales for food and drink up 0.6% compared to 2016.

Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: “Despite very negative press particularly associated with restaurant sector trading, the eating and drinking out market is not in free fall.

“Trading over the important December trading period was flat with pubs trading better than restaurants. There is no question that the trading environment is competitive but these numbers are not the car crash that has been widely portrayed.”

Although total sales across Britains pubs and restaurants were up just 0.6% over the period, the figures show that drinks sales saw an increase of 1.8% on the previous year.

Coffer Peach Business Tracker also found a contrast between food and drink sales in London, with casual dining down by 2.6% inside the M25 and pub sales up by 1.5%.

“The public still went out to eat and drink, but essentially it was a repeat of last Christmas. Better trading in the second half of the festive season, when people were mainly off work, failed to provide enough of a boost to beat 2016’s overall numbers,” said Peter Martin, vice president of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produced the figures, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM.

These industry wide figures follow news from UK bar chain Dirty Martini, which saw a 10.8% increase in like-for-like sales over the 2017 Christmas period.

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