Valentine’s Day and half-term holidays give hospitality a boost in February

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Valentine’s Day and half-term holidays give hospitality a boost in February

Related tags: Barclaycard, Hospitality, Consumer spending

A return to offices, Valentine’s Day and half-term holidays provided a boost for the hospitality sector last month, new figures from Barclaycard show.

Consumer card spending in restaurants rose by almost seven percentage points, up to -10.6% compared with -17.5% in January, as couples celebrated Valentine’s Day and friends enjoyed nights out, according to data from Barclaycard.

Sales in bars, pubs and clubs, meanwhile, grew by 28.7%, almost double last month’s growth of 14.9%.

Spending on hotels, resorts and accommodation grew 7.4% with the UK still benefiting from people choosing to holiday at home, with 42% who are spending more on social or holiday plans prioritising spending on holidays in the UK, says Barclaycard.

Overall, consumer card spending grew 13.7% in February compared to the same period in 2020 – the highest growth since November 2021.

Consumers are feeling slightly less optimistic about their household finances as rising living costs continue to hamper confidence. Inflation, rising food prices and energy bills are the main sources of concern 89% of Brits with 46% expecting that inflation will affect their household budgeting in 2022.

Despite these challenges, there are positive signs for the experience economy, says Barclaycard, with 23% of consumers saying they will spend more on experiences such as eating out in restaurants and less money on physical items – a figure that rises to 37% for 18–34-year-olds.

“The strong uplifts across both retail and hospitality show that the nation is keen to make the most of life following the easing of Plan B restrictions, with many Brits still purchasing treats to give themselves a boost, and making social and holiday plans for the year ahead,” says José Carvalho, head of consumer products at Barclaycard.

“As inflation starts to have an impact on consumer confidence, we’re seeing a shift in spending habits as Brits seek more value from their purchases, particularly on supermarket shopping, which saw its smallest growth since February 2020.

“With energy prices rising at the start of April, we will be watching how these price-conscious behaviours evolve over the coming months.”

Related topics: Trends & Reports



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