Sunday 16 December 2018 12:16 pm

Restaurants and pubs will be the "future of the high street" in London

Pubs and restaurants could be the “future of the high street” in London, according to industry experts, as new figures revealed a healthy growth in like-for-like sales throughout the sector last month.

Sales grew by 2.3 per cent in London pubs and restaurants in November against the same month last year, statistics published by the Coffer Peach Business Tracker have shown.

The capital outperformed the rest of the country, as sales outside the M25 rose by 1.3 per cent.

“With retailers recently reporting the biggest drop in footfall for the month of November since 2009, the relative health of eating and drinking out is a better indicator of where the future of the High Street lies,” said Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at accounting firm RSM.

“For operators, many will be hoping that the growing Brexit uncertainty drives consumers to seek solace in their restaurants, pubs and bars throughout the all-important Christmas trading period.”

Across the country, pubs were the main driver in growth, where sales were up 3.1 per cent compared to 0.9 per cent in restaurants. Drinks sales were up 3 per cent while food was up just 0.6 per cent.

For the 12 months to the end of November, underlying like-for-like growth for British pubs and restaurants was relatively flat at just 0.8 per cent.

“The November figures will be welcome for a market that has seen generally flat trading across the year, and operators will hope this upward trend continues into the festive season,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the leisure market consultancy that produces the Copper Peach Business Tracker.