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Research Reveals Stormy Weather in October Dampened Social Dining Out

The latest research from Lumina Intelligence Eating & Drinking Out Panel (4WE 29/10/2023) shows that consumer confidence has improved when compared to October last year, encouraging more UK adults to eat or drink out – visits are up +2ppts to 56%. However, because of the poor weather and ongoing general financial strains, frequency has flatlined at 1.4 occasions per week.

Lumina Intelligence data also reveals that consumers are choosing lower-ticket options when eating out of home, with lunch and dinner seeing a boost: up +0.3ppts and +2.4ppts respectively. Necessity was a key driver: more social channels, including restaurants, failed to gain share in October.

Affordability is driving growth in lower-cost channels

As winter approaches, the cost of heating homes starts to loom ‒ causing consumers to become more cautious about spend. This leads value-conscious consumers to trade down to lower-cost channels: Lumina data shows QSR has seen a rise of +1.2ppts in share, and retail occasions have risen by +1.6ppts.

This growth in retail occasions led to a rise in sandwich purchases in the period, which are up by +1.6ppts as consumers buy cheaper sandwiches on the go.

Pubs struggle to capitalise on Rugby World Cup

October’s above-average rainfall and stormy weather prompted more consumers to watch the Rugby World Cup at home rather than heading out to pubs & bars. As a result, share of occasions fell by -1.9ppts.

The increase in consumers choosing to drink at home rather than visiting more costly out-of-home venues was also driven by the rises in alcohol duty, which have in turn led to hikes in the prices of alcoholic drinks: the latest Lumina Intelligence Eating & Drinking Out Panel data show drink-only occasions are down -0.9ppts year-on-year.

About Lumina Intelligence Eating & Drinking Out Panel

Lumina Intelligence Eating & Drinking Out Panel is based on 78,000 surveys across the year, built up from a nationally representative weekly sample of 1,500 shoppers. Our comprehensive coverage includes over 900 operators from across all out of home channels – including restaurants, pubs & bars, cafes & coffee shops, fast food, bakery & sandwich shops, restaurants and retail channels.

For more on out of home food & drink consumption in the UK, and to access our cost-effective consumer insight and data solution, go to: