Young diners are keeping many restaurants afloat as the frequency with which older diners are eating out falls.
According to figures from the QuickBite survey from Horizons younger diners are most likely to eat out, with 75% of 18-24 year olds and 76% of 25-34 years olds having eaten out in the past two weeks, compared to an average of 67% of all adults.
Spend per meal by 45-54 year olds in the “squeezed middle” has dropped from £13.86 to £13.65 year-on-year. These consumers were also the least likely to eat out: 39% had not eaten out in the past two weeks, up from 32% last year.
The 35-44 year olds, also in the “squeezed middle”, have cut back on the number of times they eat out with 68% of respondents in this age group having eaten out in the previous two weeks, down from 70% in 2012.
The most frequent users of eating out establishments are younger diners (18-24 and 25-34 year olds). On average, people in this age group have eaten out 2.06 and 2.32 times in the past two weeks, compared with a survey average of 1.77 times.
While 46% of people ate out in restaurants (including pub restaurants) for their most recent meal out, the proportion eating out in quick service restaurants has risen 3% year-on-year to 35% of the total.
Hopefully the recent hot weather will have tempted many more people to eat at the pub, says Michael Bennett, MD of the hospitality PR consultancy Pelican Communications. However, it remains the case that restaurants have to continue to communicate value if they are to tempt more diners to eat out more frequently.
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