Audit tax and consulting service RSM’s ‘Who are today’s consumers?’ research also found that more than half (59%) of the 2,000 respondents said they will spend the same.
Just 12% of UK consumers plan to spend more on restaurants and bars over the next year. However, when the survey asked millennials, the figure more than doubled to 26%. Some 19% of millennials said they would be spending less on eating and drinking out this year, and 51% planned to spend the same.
Consumers are becoming more discerning and plan to stabilise their spending on eating and drinking out over the next 12 months, RSM reported.
The survey also revealed that 81% of consumers look at reviews sites like TripAdvisor before eating out, 72% will change their plans if they read a bad review, and 51% will not visit if there are no reviews.
RSM has issued advice to operators on how to keep business afloat in uncertain times. Focusing on niche offerings and ‘quality over quantity’ were key tips offered.
Single-item menus, multi-sensory experiences or new cuisines were also recommended to drive business in bars and restaurants.
"Consumers are increasingly craving the experiential," says Paul Newman, partner and head of leisure and hospitality at RSM.
“Due to the high levels of 18-35 years olds already hitting the high street, catering for this shift in demand is becoming increasingly important, so expect to see more multi-sensory experiences, new cuisines and unique offerings such as single-item menus popping up on the high street in 2018.”
Tech and sustainability also look set to play important roles in restaurants’ success over the coming year, according to the survey.
A quarter of millennials said they would be prepared to pay a premium to enhance the eating and drinking experience and days outs. The same proportion would be willing to pay up to 20% more for sustainable produce.