Bar and restaurant visits up amid ‘austerity fatigue’

CONSUMERS are going to bars, restaurants and clubs more often as so-called ‘austerity fatigue’ sets in.

According to the latest Leisure Wallet report by advisory firm Zolfo Cooper, the frequency with which people are visiting venues across all three sectors has increased, although the average spend per visit has continued to drop.
Visits to pubs and bars were said to have risen 2.2% year on year to 4.6 per month, though average spend fell by £1.55 to £14.69.
Consumers went to restaurants an average of 2.6 times a month, the report found, up 4%, but spent £1.38 less, with the average spend per visit coming in at £15.90. Visits to late night venues rose by 10.5% to an average of 2.1 a month, with the average spend down 12.4% to £24.04.
Paul Hemming, partner at Zolfo Cooper, said the research shows the trade could capitalise on “austerity fatigue”.
“Consumers are increasingly aware that the economy is experiencing a prolonged trou
gh not a dip, and that wages and growth will not be rising dramatically any time soon,” he said.
“The data in the Leisure Wallet shows that people are now starting to adjust to these changed circumstances.
“It may seem strange to be talking about positives when spending continues to decline but the fact that visits are up across the board suggests consumers have now recognised that they can still afford to go out regularly and enjoy themselves provided they spend a bit less on each night out.”