British pub and restaurant groups have seen a flat 0.2% increase in like-for-like sales in October, according to research data from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

The Coffer Peach Business Tracker is operated by market research consultancy CGA Peach, in collaboration with The Coffer Group, RSM and UBS.

The report showed that pubs and bars in the country have outperformed casual dining chains during the month.

In London, managed pubs and restaurant groups saw like-for-like sales increase by 2.5%, while the numbers decreased by 0.5% outside the city.

“The really big problem for the sector, and restaurant brands, in particular, is continuing fierce competition.”

Managed pubs and bars across the country have reported a 0.6% increase on a like-for-like basis, with London reporting a 3.6% increase compared to last October. However, sales declined by 0.4% outside of London.

Like-for-like sales of restaurant chains in London were up by 0.9%, whereas they declined by 0.7% across the country, including a 0.3% decline in the casual dining sector.

CGA CEO Phil Tate was quoted by Hospitality and Catering News as saying: “People are still going out to eat and drink, but there is little or no growth in the market and stronger London trading is making up for poorer sales outside the M25.

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“Restaurants saw volume sales, measured by covers, down 1.4% for the month – which is worrying, although spend has remained essentially static.

“But the really big problem for the sector, and restaurant brands, in particular, is continuing fierce competition, added to the burden of increasing business costs that are squeezing both margins and profits,” added Tate.

Furthermore, the report also showed that total sales across the country, including new openings across the 49 companies in the Tracker, increased by 2.6% compared to total sales of October last year.