Eating OutHospitalityNews

Half of Consumers Dining Out Less as Cost of Living Crisis Intensifies

Half of UK consumers surveyed for a new study said they are dining out less than at the start of 2022, while guests are increasingly looking for value and variety when they do visit restaurants.

A study by Revenue Management Solutions (RMS), analysed, in detail, over 600 UK consumers, comparing the survey results of Q1 2022, against the latest findings for Q3 2022, to determine whether there has been a shift in consumer behaviours and attitudes to dining out, as inflation continues to rise at a staggering rate and the cost of living crisis intensifies.

51% of those surveyed are ordering less frequently from restaurants in order to save, an increase of 12% points on Q1 2022, when more guests managed their spend by also trading down. Additionally, 70% compare prices prior to placing their order, while 72% stated they always know the price of the menu items they’ve selected prior to ordering.

All surveyed cited their intention to reduce their frequency of visits to restaurants across all sectors. When comparing Q1 2022 figures against Q3 2022. Dine-In 25% rising to 40%. Drive-thru 36% rising to 49%. Take-out 34% rising to 47%. Delivery 35% rising to 47%.

Cooking ‘everyday’ meals from home is on the rise, from 62% in Q1 2022 to 82% in Q3 2022. Socialising with family and friends in a restaurant remains important, with 43% of respondents in Q3 2022 reporting meeting more at restaurants as opposed to at home, versus 37% in Q1 2022. Celebrating a special occasion within a restaurant environment also saw an increase from 33% in Q1 2022 to 42% in Q3 2022.

For Q3 2022, 80% of UK consumers stated they enjoy having a variety of option choices on a menu, yet one in two feel this is currently missing, with an additional one in three stating they no longer find satisfying value options on a menu.

65% of respondents cited purchasing a combo meal from a quick-service restaurant in the past month, with more than one in two purchasing a combo meal multiple times for the same period. 53% of consumers agree that combo meals represent better value than individual items. However, interestingly, two in five consumers purchased a combo meal because they felt it was faster to order.