Despite only a small spike during the week of Valentine’s Day, diners spent an average of 7 per cent more on eating out year-on-year in February 2015.
London and the South East saw spend grow more sharply than any other area of the UK, up 9 per cent (£7) and 6 per cent (£4) year-on-year respectively.
“The gap in leisure spend between London and the South East and rest of Britain has reduced in recent months, so it is interesting to see a slight reverse in that trend in February," said Fiona Gunn, Greene King’s marketing director.
Month-on-month spending on drinking out rose 13 per cent as increased abstinence typically associated with January fell away.
There was a modest 2 per cent growth in spending year-on-year.
It remains to be seen whether the Government's reduction in beer duty will have an impact on consumer spend, though this may be evident in April's figures.
Family spend slows
Both households with and without children saw spending on dining out increase by 7 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, the most similar increase between the two groups since the survey began in August 2013.
While Greene King indicated this may be a signal of slowing spend growth among family households, research released this week by Bookatable charted the rising popularity of child-friendly restaurants – indicating that while there is greater demand for family friendly dining, consumers remain discount driven and are more cautious about spending.
Greene King’s monthly report is based on an online, nationally representative sample of 4,000 adults analysing the leisure spend of each household.