Britons will be spending a third of their household budget for food and drink on eating out in four years time, researchers have predicted.
Food service analyst firm Horizons has forecasted that by 2011, of the £140b which Britons will spend in total on food and drink, £45b of that will be in restaurants, pubs and takeaways.
That will be an 11% increase on the £37.6b spent on eating out last year.
Peter Backman, managing director at Horizons, said this growth in eating out will be driven by hectic lifestyles and the fact that it is often viewed as being cheaper to eat out than buy the ingredients to cook a meal.
The research follows a study from Deloitte which predicted that one in three UK consumers are set to eat out more often now that the English smoking ban has come into force.
By Daniel Thomas
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