Brits continue to prioritise dining out

Despite cutting back in many areas, Brits are continuing to enjoy dining out and have increased the amount they spend in restaurants, according to new stats.
 
Last month, the average British household spent £76.86 on eating out compared to £75.01 in October 2013, while they also spent £41.41 on drinks last month which is down eight per cent from £44.99 in the same month last year.
 
Because of our increased use of restaurants, eating out boosted its share of total leisure spend by five percentage points to reach 41 per cent compared to 22 per cent for drinking out and 37 per cent for other leisure activities.
 
Predictably, the area spending the most in restaurants was London and the South East, with the average household forking out £87.09 in October, compared to £72.52 for the rest of the UK.
 
The stats, from the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker, also showed that there was a big increase in restaurant spending from households without children (£74.26 compared to £59.20 in October 2013), while those with children chose to spend less this year (down from £80.08 to £77.75).
 
Slightly worryingly for those working in hospitality and catering jobs, many Brits say they plan to cut down on how much they spend on eating and drinking outside of the home this Christmas. In total, 27 per cent thought they would reduce their spending compared to 15 per cent who said the opposite and 58 per cent who expect to spend the same as last year.
 
Speaking about the figures, Steve Jebson, Commercial Director at Greene King, said: “With Christmas upon us and consumer confidence still fragile the continued prioritisation of eating out spend over other leisure is a very interesting dynamic, it is clear that this activity is now firmly established as our favourite leisure pursuit.”
 
By Owen Mckeon
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