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Restaurant outings rise increasingly driven by all age groups

Published:  17 September, 2020

UK consumer confidence to eat out continues to rise, with 10 million more people visiting bars and restaurants in August over June, with an additional 2.4 million also likely to venture out for the first time during the next fortnight.

These are the findings of new research conducted via YouGov by supplier Bibendum and the wider C&C Group, which revealed that 42% of adults say they are now planning to visit an on-trade outlet over the next fortnight.

In total, by the end of August some 32.5 million people had visited a restaurant or bar since the end of lockdown, up from a total of 22.5 million at the end of July, pointing to a gathering return of confidence, bolstered by the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme during August.

The research also highlighted some interesting shifts in the age groups now prepared to take the plunge.

While 25-34 year olds accounted for the majority of visits during the Eat Out to Help Out period, at 71%, the number of both 35-44 year olds and over 50s returning to restaurants and bars rose by 20% in August over July.

The research said that over 50s are the least likely to tempted by discounts, but the most likely to be swayed by safety considerations, with 39% of this cohort now feeling “comfortable” dining indoors, up from 27% at the end of July.

Some 44% of those surveyed reported “increased confidence” as the reason for venturing out, with the benefits of this boost skewed towards community pubs and restaurants in suburban areas as many consumers continue to avoid public transport and city centre venues.

On the drinks front, the Bibendum research also identified opportunities for upselling.

“When it comes to drinks, Bibendum has identified that on-trade health and safety restrictions may help with upselling, as the shift towards table service means there are more opportunities for staff recommendations as the back bar becomes less important.

“As more and more operators use an app for table service, there are also opportunities to add descriptors and images to encourage consumers to try something new,” said the company.

The research sample size was 2,403 adults, with all figures from YouGov, weighted and representative of all GB Adults.