Young Brits eat out more, at a wider range of venues

Gaëlle Laforest

27 January 2016

Britons are widening their eating and drinking out destinations, especially the 18-24s, according to Greene King's leisure spend tracker.

Figures for the year 2015 showed that while spending on drinking out and eating out activities has not increased year on year, Brits are varying up their venue choices, with one in three people saying they now visit more places than they did two years ago. This was especially strong with the 18-24s, with 50% of them expanding their dining repertoire (against 10% narrowing it), and over a third of the 25-34s widening it (against 18% narrowing it).

As for older age groups, only about 25% are broadening their horizons, while the same percentage is narrowing them.

Spending on eating and drinking out however increased between November and December, growing by 13% and 22% respectively, no doubt due to the end-of-year festivities.

Fiona Gunn, Greene King group marketing director, said: 'In a desire to do more this Christmas, consumers feeling more secure than they have in recent years decided to spend more, rather than take money out of one leisure activity to fund another. Those in our sector should see the festive season as a good foundation on which to build, and a positive sign that 2016 can be a year of good cheer.'

In 2015, people in London and the south-east continue to spend more on eating and drinking out than those in the rest of the UK, but figures per region were stable year on year.

As for the frequency of people's eating out habits, over a third of respondents said they eat out in the evening less frequently than they used to. Only 12% said they now eat out in the evening more frequently than two years ago. However, taking only the 18-24s into account, the situation is different: 32% of whom said they eat out more in the evening now than they did two years ago.

Gunn added: 'In spite of the economic pressures faced by today’s Generation Y, they are the most likely of any group to report that they are going out for meals in the evening, compared to a couple of years ago. It was again this age bracket that proved that they’re broadening their horizons fastest as the majority of these youngsters are experimenting with a wider range of places when eating and drinking out.'

And where are they off to? The pub, mostly, with data showing that four in 10 respondents picking it at their destination of choice, ahead of restaurants.

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