Britain's eating out sector has seen a strong recovery in the regions, with consumers reporting that they are eating out more frequently.
Horizons' Eating Out-Look, conducted online by YouGov among 2,194 consumers, found that the recovery of eating out was, for the first time, noticeable outside London, with strong growth in Wales, the North, and the East of the country.
It found that 71% had eaten out in the past two weeks, up from 69% in the same period last year.
The survey, conducted on 4-5 January 2015, also asked consumers about their eating out habits in the previous two weeks over Christmas and found that they had eaten out 1.94 times a week, up from 1.8 a year ago.
Respondents who had eaten out spend an average of £14.48 including drinks, up from £14.41 last year. They also spent more over the Christmas period than 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."
Eating Out-Look also revealed that the number of respondents using more formal venues such as restaurants and pub restaurants had risen slightly. Some 51% of eating out was accounted for by these venues, compared with 47% six months ago. JD Wetherspoon was the most commonly cited venue of respondents who had eaten in a pub restaurant (14%), with Brewers Fayre (8%) and Harvester (7%) second and third respectively from a given list.
Average spend on eating out increased across all age groups, apart from those aged over 55 years (£13.84 this year, compared with £15.78 last year), but was particularly noticeable in 35-54 year-olds (35-44 year olds increased from £15.19 to £15.94, and 45-54 year olds increased from £14.11 to £15.28).
While 25-34 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 18-24 the percentage dining out had dropped year-on-year from 81% to 73%.