Restaurant sales down 5.6% as Brits make further cutbacks

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Restaurant sales down 5.6% as Brits made further cutbacks

Related tags Barclays Hospitality Fast food Fine dining Casual dining

The latest Barclays report is grim reading for restaurants with sales down 5.6% in March and consumer research showing that 62% of consumers are trying to cut down on eating out in full-service establishments.

Pubs, bars and clubs fared better, with spend up 3.2% on the same period last year. 

Spending on takeaways and fast food, meanwhile, is up 9.2% fuelled by Gen-Z consumers who are spending twice as much in the category. 

In more bad news for restaurants, over half of consumers surveyed are cutting down on luxuries and ‘one-off treats for themselves’. 

Looking ahead, just a third of Brits (35%) are planning to spend on activities over the King’s Coronation Bank Holiday weekend in May, with around one in 10 consumers planning to purchase food and drink for hosting friends or family and only 8% planning to spend money on drinks out at bars and pubs.

This may be because consumers are currently feeling slightly less confident in their household finances (59%) and ability to spend on non-essential items (48%) than they did in February (64% and 51% respectively), although confidence in the UK economy has remained steady at 23%. 

“The below-inflation rise in grocery spending shows that Brits are still trying their hardest to shave money off their weekly shop, as energy bills continue to rise. Cutbacks are also impacting restaurants, with a number of cash-strapped consumers even avoiding social plans that involve meals out," says director at Barclays Esme Harwood.

“Hospitality & leisure businesses will be hoping that the busy Bank Holiday period provides a boost to counteract consumers’ everyday cost-savings. While predictions for the Coronation weekend are lacklustre, the results from Mother’s Day are more encouraging, demonstrating that Brits are still taking advantage of one-off moments to go out and celebrate.”

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