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Restaurants could face tough Christmas as consumers predict decline in visits

03 December 2012 by
Restaurants could face tough Christmas as consumers predict decline in visits

Restaurants and pubs face a challenging Christmas, as consumers predict an 8% drop in the number of times they go out over the festive period compared to 2011.

That is one of the key findings of Deloitte's fourth Taste of the National survey, released today.

The report also found that Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics prompted a sharp decline in the number of times people went out in London, but activity increased elsewhere.

Deloitte said London suffered a 9% drop in frequency of visits compared to six months ago, but expected the capital to bounce back quickly.

The overall average monthly number of going out occasions rose 3.1% to 20.4 in the six months to October, according to the report.

Among the highlights were the fact that women went out increasingly often, while men were more likely to stay at home. Women are going out 17.9 times on average per month, compared with 15 six months ago.

The west and the south of the country saw growth, while the northern regions were flat.

Generation Y (generally defined as younger people born from the start of the 1980s) went out 3.7% less often each month, compated to a rise in the average number of times that both Generation X and the baby boomers went out.

Once again, coffee and sandwich shops remained the most visited venues, with 6.1 average visits per month, 9.2% more than the six months previously and 7.9% higher year on year. The strongest growth came from the Midlands, which was up 22% year on year and the South East excluding London was up 12.9%.

The average number of visits to quick service venues was up 6.4% year-on-year to 2.7 occasions per month. These venues remain most popular with Generation Y and consumers in the North and London.

Meanwhile spending per head continues to increased in all areas except quick service and casual dining. The decline is significant given that frequency of eating out at the venues at these venues rose compared to October 2011, suggesting that spend in causal dining has fallen, perhaps due to the over-use of vouchers.

Click here for a full copy of the report.

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