Eating out grows as economy improves

Britons are eating out more as economic conditions improve, according to a new report. 

A YouGov survey found that 71% of respondents had eaten out in the last two weeks, up from 69% the year before same, and was reported in Horizons’ latest Eating Out-Look survey. Recovery was noticeable outside London with strong growth in Wales, the North and the East of the country.

Respondents in these areas, along with the South (72%), reported eating out more often than respondents in London, of which 71% had eaten out in the previous two weeks.

Wales also saw a large hike, with 71% of respondents saying they had eaten out in the previous two weeks, compared with just 61% who had done so 12 months ago. Fewer respondents in Scotland reported eating out, however, 64% compared with 67% last year.

On average, respondents had eaten out 1.94 times, up from 1.8 times a year ago. Respondents who had eaten out spent an average of £14.48, including drinks, up from £14.41 last year. Consistent with previous surveys, consumers spent more when they dined out over the Christmas period than they did during the summer when the average spend was £12.72 (June 2014).

Emma Read, Horizons’ director of marketing & business development, said: “What’s encouraging is that the eating out figures were stronger in the regions than they were in London. Also, given it was Christmas when many people prefer to eat and entertain at home, more respondents said they were tempted to eat out.”

While 25-to-34-year-olds were the age group most likely to have eaten out in the previous two weeks (80%), 75% of respondents aged 35-44 had done so compared with 68% last year. Amongst young people aged 18 to 24 the percentage dining out had dropped year-on-year from 81% to 73%.

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