Restaurant spend slows after post-lockdown demand surge

10 August 2021 by
Restaurant spend slows after post-lockdown demand surge

There are signs the initial pent-up demand from lockdown is cooling off in certain sectors, such as restaurants.

Restaurant spending had been improving steadily since restrictions began to ease in March, closing the gap on 2019, but last month there was a dip in spending and the gap widened again to -13.1%.

In contrast, takeaways saw record growth of 72.3% – the highest since before the onset of the pandemic – as friends and families watched events such as the Euros and Wimbledon at home while treating themselves to food deliveries.

Data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation's credit and debit card transactions, found that pubs, bars and clubs had another strong month, recording 30.5% growth when compared to July 2019, as Brits socialised in beer gardens and returned to nightclubs for evenings out.

Meanwhile, the market for UK staycations continued to see promising growth, with spending on hotels, resorts and accommodation rising 7.8% – its highest growth since before the first coronavirus lockdown.

Raheel Ahmed, head of consumer products, said: "July's major sports fixtures and the heatwave kept the nation in good spirits, providing more reasons to celebrate together, and giving the entertainment industry its long-awaited boost back into growth.

"While some sectors took a small step back as the post-lockdown ‘honeymoon' period cooled, July was a positive month overall. However, with inflation expected to rise, it will be interesting to see how this impacts consumer spending behaviour over the coming months."

John B Hewitt/

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