Sales data from the CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker shows the sector reported sales growth of 8.8%, compared to 2022. Pubs performed most strongly, with sales growth of 9.6%, followed by restaurants at 8.3% and bars at 5.6%.

While year-on-year growth is positive, UKHospitality has said these results were the ‘bare minimum’ needed by venues as cost pressures mount. The improved sales performance is unlikely to be enough to cover increased operating costs, it said.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “A positive Christmas was essential for hospitality businesses, who desperately needed strong trading figures after four years of disruption during the festive period.

“I’m pleased that pubs, restaurants and bars all saw sales growth of at least 5% compared to 2022, but in reality this was the bare minimum they needed to keep up with extremely challenging trading conditions.

“As we’re now heading through the quieter winter months, these results will help many to keep going but I would urge the public to support their local venues. If we don’t use these valuable community assets, we will lose them for good.

“There is a critical role for government to play in supporting the sector this year, as closures continue to mount. We are urging them to act through capping the planned business rates hike in April and reducing the rate of VAT for hospitality, leisure and tourism, to the benefit of businesses, consumers and the economy.”