London dining scene dips in November

The capital’s restaurant and dining scene was quieter than usual last month, with much of the decrease thought to be a result of the recent attacks in Paris.
 
London saw a 1.5 per cent like-for-like fall in November, with its restaurants seeing an even bigger decrease of 2.6 per cent while activity in its pubs dipped by 0.8 per cent.
 
The Coffer Peach Business Tracker suggested that the attacks had led to “public nervousness” with many people choosing to eat and drink at home instead of venturing outside.
 
The outlook was slightly better away from the capital, with the rest of the country seeing like-for-like sales increase by 0.3 per cent annually, however the overall total still fell by 0.2 per cent in the month.
 
November’s weak figures follow rises in October of 2.5 per cent nationally and 3.5 per cent in London, while November 2014 recorded an increase of 3.4 per cent.
 
Analysing the stats, Peter Martin, Vice President of CGA Peach, said: “The public’s nervousness is understandable and it seems London has been affected both by a drop-off in tourist business and Londoners not staying out as long after work. Operators are reporting both reduced sales and cancellations of bookings, in restaurants and late night venues.”
 
He added: “London will be hoping that public confidence returns for the Christmas and New Year festive season, in what should be the industry’s busiest trading period.”
 
In other hospitality news, it looks set to be a busy Christmas for those working in Chefs and Waiters jobs across the country, with a new report suggesting that more and more people will dine out during this festive season.
 
According to Mitchells & Butlers, which is behind the likes of O’Neill’s, All Bar One, Browns, Toby Carvery and Harvester, 272,243 meals were sold in its outlets in the first two weeks of December last year compared to 90,468 in 2012.
 
The report also found that 65 per cent of us plan to eat more than two Christmas meals this month, while seven per cent expect to have five or more.
 
By Owen Mckeon
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