83% Brits cutting restaurant spending amid cost-of-living crisis, Forbes Advisor reports
A new study from Forbes Advisor has revealed that four in five (83%) Brits are cutting their restaurant spending amid the soaring cost of living. The financial services platform discovered ten ways Brits are amending their restaurant spending habits, to help navigate the cost of living crisis.
Findings come alongside newly published research from The Office of National Statistics (ONS), which revealed how businesses within the accommodation and food service industry are suffering greatly.
The business survey uncovered that nearly half of UK businesses within the sector (47%) have seen fewer diners in September 2022 compared to a year earlier. Further to these findings, more than half (52%) of trading businesses within such industries revealed that their turnover was lower in September 2022 compared with August.
Despite November being a move into the festive season, nearly half (49%) of businesses in the accommodation and food service industry predict their turnover to decrease in November. ONS confirms that this number was driven by the food and beverage service sub-industry.
What is driving this?
Forbes Advisor investigated consumer habits, to understand diners’ behaviours that are driving changes within the food service industry.
The study found that the most common change in spending behaviour is that Brits are dining out less frequently. Almost half (44%) of respondents claimed to be doing so, in order to help combat the cost of living crisis. Second to this, more than one-quarter of Brits (27%) are choosing to socialise with friends in the comfort of their own home to help the pounds stretch further.
Meanwhile, findings also show that people are being more cautious with their choices when they do choose to dine out. One quarter (25%) of Brits are ordering less at a restaurant than usual, and steering away from the extra money spent on a three-course meal.
With experts predicting the average price of a three-course dinner to increase by £30 in the next three years, such small cuts could now make for huge savings in the long run.
Furthermore, the rising cost of living means that it is the more affordable restaurants that could in fact see a rise in popularity. Overall almost one-quarter of Brits (24%) are choosing to dine at restaurants with more reasonable pricing, and more than one in five (22%) are ordering cheaper items on the menu.
Additionally, nearly one quarter (24%) are reducing their restaurant bill by cutting back on the amount they spend on alcoholic beverages when eating out – be this swapping their usual drink to a house wine, or cutting back on the number of drinks they order. What’s more is that over one in 10 (13%) are making the decision to order alcohol less frequently in restaurants altogether.
Moreover, it is not just social engagements with friends that have people cutting back. Couples seeking quality time together are being forced to ditch romantic evenings out. Almost one-quarter of respondents (24%) claim to be going on fewer date nights with their significant other, amid rising prices all around.
Sadly, the survey indicated a bleak outlook for restaurant staff. One in five diners are tipping less money than the usual percentage, to save where they can (20%) and one in six are no longer tipping at all (15%).
Kevin Pratt, U.K. Editor at Forbes Advisor commented: “When household budgets are under the cosh, non-essential spending gets squeezed, and eating out is one of the areas where people are looking for savings. Let’s face it, if your weekly supermarket shop is a shock to the system because grocery bills are going through the roof, you’re going to think twice before spending a similar amount in one go at a restaurant.
“But while it’s easy to understand changes in behaviour, we shouldn’t forget the impact this has on the hospitality sector, both in terms of businesses and the people who work in them. Sadly, we’re likely to see a lot of restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars go out of business over the coming months, especially if consumers feel they have no choice but to cut back on Christmas celebrations such as work functions and friends get-togethers.
“Coming so soon after the travails of Covid lockdown, hospitality can ill-afford this financial catastrophe. But consumers have no choice. There really are no winners in the cost of living crisis.”