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HGEM Consumer Survey Finds Gen-Z Have The Biggest Budgets For Xmas Meals

Consumers might have to dig deeper in their pockets this year due to the cost of living, but nevertheless, they are determined to celebrate Xmas out in hospitality. According to a recent consumer survey by guest experience expert HGEM, the top three factors for choosing a Xmas venue are (in order of importance): total cost, meal quality and value for money. In contrast, last year, value for money was more important than meal quality, hinting at a return to basics for consumers desiring a decent meal without breaking the bank. The less important factors have not changed position since last year, and they are: location, entertainment value and, finally, a new and exciting place.

In terms of how consumers find their Xmas venue – 68% of consumers would trust a recommendation, 64% would look to Google and 62% would consider a venue that’s tried and tested. Steven Pike, MD of HGEM comments: ‘Given how heavily ‘recommended’ and ‘tried and tested’ venues come into play for customers choosing Xmas venues – a good Net Promoter Score should be a primary focus for operators (if it isn’t already).’ The results suggest an increase in office-sponsored Xmas parties for 2023 (47% of consumers are having work do’s, as opposed to 44% in 2022), which improves affordability for the customer.

The survey also shows that the average budget for a Xmas meal (drinks excluded) this year is £21-£30: this is consistent across all age groups, apart from Gen-Z (18-25) who are looking to spend £31-£40 on average per meal. The +66-age group also bucks the trend, hoping to keep the meal below £20.

In terms of dietary requirements, almost half (46%) of the consumers reported some kind of dietary restrictions, with the majority of those with restrictions being vegetarians (44%), followed by those on a gluten-free diet (19%) and vegans (19%). Whilst it may be practical to have the same menu offering for vegetarians and vegans, providing a dairy option (e.g. cheese) to dairy alternatives (e.g. vegan cheese) would likely increase customer satisfaction for vegetarians.