Restaurants and pubs show resilience as UK consumers eat out more

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food and drink

Deloitte's survey found that the average UK consumer has been going out for food and drink 19.7 times per month
Deloitte's survey found that the average UK consumer has been going out for food and drink 19.7 times per month
In spite of the current economic crisis, UK consumers are going out to eat and drink and restaurants and pubs even more than before, according to the latest Taste of the Nation survey conducted by Deloitte.

The survey, of 3,000 adult consumers from across Britain, found that the average UK consumer has been going out for food and drink 19.7 times per month; 2.2 occasions more than six months ago and nine per cent higher than previously predicted.

“Despite a gloomy outlook, the eating and drinking out market has bucked the trend over the last six months,” said Jon Lake, a corporate finance director in the licensed retail group at Deloitte.

“While an element of the growth can be attributed to seasonality and the welcome boost provided by a late summer, these latest findings demonstrate the continuing resilience of the going out market and are a reflection of the importance of the sector for the UK consumer.”

The growth has primarily been driven by two key consumer groups: 18-34 year olds, recording an average of 30.4 going out occasions per month, and ‘frequent users’, being those that go out at least twice a week, predominantly males going out for a drink (up 10 per cent).

Challenging six months

However, the survey’s also indicates that 38 per cent of consumers are expecting to be worse off in the next six months (34 per cent in April 2011). As such, many say their overall outings to restaurants and pubs are expected to stall, dropping marginally by 1.4 per cent.

“The coming months may prove more challenging,” added Lake. “However, consumers are still regularly going out and those operators that continue to be innovative and tailor their offer accordingly should continue to prosper.

Other key findings from the Deloitte survey include:

  • The North recorded a rise in overall outings recently (up 13 per cent), despite being the only region in the previous survey to forecast a decrease
  • Londoners (on average 28.2 going out occasions per month) go out over a third more than the next highest region, the North
  • Those in the South West region (down 9%) and drink-led occasions (down 6%) are expecting the highest decrease
  • Males go out over 50% per cent more than their female counterparts
  • 18-34 year olds eat out almost twice as often 35-54-year-olds

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