Almost half of men visit the pub at weekends to have lunch with friends or family, according to latest research by Greene King.
According to Greene King's monthly leisure spend tracker some 43% of pub visits by men at weekends are accounted for by "lads who lunch".
The survey found that spending was up on food and drink in March year-on-year because of Easter. It was also up month-on-month because February is usually belt-tightening month following Christmas and, even in a leap year, is 6% less than March.
The average leisure spend per family rose to £216 in March, up £20 on the same period in 2015 and £34 up on February.
Meanwhile spending on live sports events has fallen in 2016, sustaining a year-on-year decrease of 20% in the three months to March.
Eating out grew its wallet share by three percentage points to 43% and remains the main leisure activity in terms of household spend.
In London and the South East, households increased spending on drinking out by 25% during the month. In the rest of the UK, spend increased by 6%. Both increases can probably be attributed to Easter.
While the Easter break and school holidays create a distorted picture of year on year spend, the lads who lunch is an emerging category, according to the monthly survey of 4,000 adults. Some 43% of men stated that their weekend pub visit was mainly to have lunch with friends and family. Only 19% said that the visit was to watch sport on TV, while just 4% said it was to play pub games like pool.
Greene King group marketing director Fiona Gunn said: "Easter falling early this year saw many British households increase their leisure spending across the board, particularly in eating out. There was also the excitement of the Cheltenham Festival, which boosted other leisure spending, and the fact that the school holidays allowed many families to enjoy some quality time together out of home."
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