School break boosts pub and restaurant fortunes

Restaurants and pubs saw increased sales in November thanks to later than usual school half-term holidays.

The figures, from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, show that collective like-for-like sales were up 3.4 per cent on the same month last year, following a 1.7 per cent dip in October.

The findings should provide encouragement for people working in hospitality jobs, especially as the industry enters the Christmas period – one of the sector’s busiest times of the year.

Underlying figures for the 12 months up to the end of October show a 1.5 per cent increase in combined year-on-year, like-for-like sales, which is roughly in line with the general trend for 2012.

Ali Aneizi, co-head of leisure and hospitality at Baker Tilly, one of the survey’s partners, said: “The November like-for-likes are a much welcome reversal of the decline posted in October. It’s now all hands on deck for the festive season with many operators banking on a bumper trading period.

“However, it remains to be seen what will happen in December. The industry has some way to go to beat the 9.9 per cent like-for-likes posted in December 2011. As far as regional variances are concerned, London has again outperformed the rest of the country, a trend which has continued for eight months in a row.”

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