Pub group enjoys food sales boost

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ALL Bar One owner Mitchells and Butler said customers tucking in to food helped drive sales as punters were put off by higher drink prices.

Mitchells and Butler’s focus on the eating out market helped it post a 2.1 per cent increase in like-for-like sales in the year to September 22, largely driven by food.

The Harvester owner said it has grown food sales by 40 per cent over the last five years, with three quarters of its turnover now generated from food in its restaurants and pubs.

The group, which reported a four per cent rise in adjusted pre-tax profits to £162n, said that drinks volumes in its retained estate continued to decline, partly as a result of increases in alcohol duty which had led to higher prices across the industry.