"Self-imposed austerity" causes biggest fall in spending on eating out in a year

31 October 2017 by
"Self-imposed austerity" causes biggest fall in spending on eating out in a year

The eating and drinking out market has seen the biggest fall in spending for a year, as consumers cut back.

Figures released today by Deloitte's Leisure Consumer report showed that eating out in the third quarter of 2017 (July-September) was down eight percentage points against the same period the year before, while drinking in pubs, cafes and restaurants has fallen by five percentage points.

Eating and drinking out in the fourth quarter of 2017 is expected to drop by four percentage points as compared to Q4 2016.

The quarterly survey of 3,000 UK adults found that almost every leisure category has seen a decline in spending since Q3 2016, indicating that consumers are more cautious compared to last year with millennial consumers feeling the pinch more than any other age group.

As a result of rising inflation and lower disposable income millennials are planning to spend less across the majority of leisure categories over the next three months compared to spending intentions at the same time last year.

However, those aged over 55 have been less affected by cost pressures, but intend to cut back on future leisure spending across a number of categories, including habitual spending and holidays.

Holiday spending saw a decline, with spending on short breaks falling by three percentage points and longer breaks down two percentage points since Q3 2016. Spending on attending live sports events remained flat and was the only leisure category not to see a fall in spending.

Simon Oaten, partner for hospitality and leisure at Deloitte, said: "The combination of rising inflation and lower wage growth is stretching disposable incomes and causing consumers to rethink their expenditure. It is no surprise that we are seeing UK consumers tightening their belts.

"The well documented combination of rising inflation and minimal real wage growth has certainly impacted younger leisure consumers more than any other age group. As a result, millennials are reprioritising their leisure spending towards big ticket items, such as holidays and live sports. However, the fact that older consumers are no longer able to protect their leisure spending is a sign of a tipping point. It is likely that bars, restaurants and cafes will be feeling the effects of consumers' self-imposed austerity measures."

Hospitality spending is up as overall consumer spending falls in July >>

Staycations boost hotel, restaurant and bar spending in August >>

Consumer spending on hotels, restaurants and bars rises despite falls overall >>

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