Bury St Edmunds: Recovery sees more spent on eating out, Greene King study finds

Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker Report says consumers are spending more on eating out.

Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker Report says consumers are spending more on eating out. - Credit: Archant

A pubs and brewing group has detected glimmers of hope for economic recovery with a study which shows households spending 11% more on eating out than they did a year ago.

Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King found that British leisure spend has risen by 2% overall, driven by a rise in families eating out.

The company’s Leisure Spend Tracker report, now in its second year, found that British households spent 2%, or £5 more on leisure in August, taking their total spend to £247 compared to £242 in the same month last year.

But, year-on-year, the balance of leisure spend has shifted away from drinking out and in favour of eating out, the study found.

Although differences in the weather compared to last year contributed to this, the data may also reflect changes in how British households are choosing to spend their leisure pound.

The report found that while the average household spend on eating out increased by 11% to £98.09 in August, compared to the same month last year, drinking out over the same period fell by 2% to stand at £50.35. Other types of leisure spend also saw a fall of 3% to stand at £98.05.

Steve Jebson, Greene King’s commercial director, said: “With eating out up 11% compared to last year, it is clear this activity is becoming an increasingly important part of the British household’s leisure repertoire, particularly in family households.

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“We believe the disappointing August weather drove customers to eat inside restaurants rather than in pub ‘beer gardens’.

“It would also appear that eating out is becoming less of a luxury, but increasingly the preferred way for people to spend their time with friends and family.”

“In spite of continued pressure on real earnings, growing consumer confidence helped drive modest growth in spend on out-of-home leisure in August across all areas.”

Greene King also looked at customer intentions to watch football in pubs, and the analysis shows that 25% of GB adults plan to go to the pub at least once to watch a premiership football match during the current season.