Growing spending confidence from consumers is set to manifest itself in rising UK restaurant sales, according to a new study published this week.
Barclaycard’s latest Consumer Spending Report suggests the foodservice sector will be one of the main winners as consumers with extra cash in their pocket look to treat themselves to meals out.
With consumers are looking to eat out more, its survey has already recorded steady increases in spending in restaurants over the last year, reaching 17% growth year-on-year in Q1 2015.
Looking ahead, one quarter (24%) of consumers say they plan to visit more restaurants in the next three months.
Yet consumers, while preparing to spend more overall in restaurants, are not becoming reckless in their eating habits.
Over one third (36%) never go to fine-dining restaurants. Instead, British consumers are increasingly likely to eat out in a pub. Two fifths (40%) say they eat in pubs at least once a month.
Andy Slee, external affairs and central operations director at Punch Taverns, was quoted in the report as saying: “Landlord companies have invested £400m in pubs over the last couple of years to improve their attractiveness to consumers. For drink, it’s about providing a high quality range of beers and real ales, as well as a quality choice in wines, spirits and soft drinks. For food it’s become ‘everyday’ as opposed to ‘special-occasion’ eating out.”
Howard Archer of IHS Economics adds that people eat out when they feel richer. “When people feel better off, they are more prepared to go out to restaurants. The fall in petrol prices and muted food prices will give them a bit more discretionary income.”