Inflation shifts consumer behaviour with ‘cheap date’ searches up 56%

Dining and drinking out takes a hit as people pinch their pennies due to skyrocketing cost of living

Eye-opening stats from nightlife comparison and discovery platform DesignMyNight, has highlighted the effects of the rising cost of living, especially for those who are on a lower wage income, and the impact on the hospitality sector.

Comparing 2019 to 2022, searches for ‘cheap date’ saw a 56% increase in the first weeks of the year. Other high-ranking searching terms included ‘affordable restaurants’ and ‘free’ in London.

“Inevitable price hikes could be the difference in people going out between three to four times a month, to only two or three times,” commented Leighanne Bent, Marketing & PR Manager at DesignMyNight. “People will be savvier with their money and how they spend it – shopping around before they put their money on the table and make a booking.”

From the heightened demand of four reservations a second on the DesignMyNight platform on Freedom Day to Omicron Christmas cancellations, the hospitality sector has been struck by unpredictable events. Now with prices skyrocketing, such as the price of pints rising by 50p, there will certainly be knock-on effects in consumer behaviour and disposable incomes when deciding to venture out for food and drink.

How can hospitality venues tackle this challenge? By standing out and  providing memorable experiences with clever and clear deals such as 2-4-1, pre-theatre menus, or free add-ons, alongside leveraging social media platforms to highlight promotions, prompting consumers to take up these offers.

“It’s crucial for operators to consider the cost-of-living crisis and ensure they are providing innovative, creative, and crucially, affordable experiences.  People will always want to go out, even if it’s on a budget, so it’s important that these customers, new and existing, aren’t alienated or unaware of what is available to them,” concludes Bent.