Consumers are spending an increasing portion of their personal budgets on restaurants, while growth in wider spending slows, near research from Cardlytics reveals.
The data based on card and direct debit data of more than three million bank customers, reveals overall spending in Q2 2017 was up by 3% year-on-year, down from the 9% growth seen this time last year.
Restaurants and quick-serve restaurants (QSR) are one of the main drivers of spending with eating out now representing nearly a tenth (9%) of consumers’ share of budgets.
This is up two percentage points since the beginning of 2015, when Cardlytics started tracking spending.
Spending at QSR was up 8.5% on Q1 2017, and up 19% on Q2 2016, while spending at restaurants was up 9% on Q1 2017 and 9% on Q2 2016.
The findings are in line with recent research from the British Hospitality Association, which revealed the contribution of the industry to the economy has outpaced growth in every other sector since the 2008 downturn.
Showing a wider trend of consumers wanting to treat themselves during the leaner times, airline and hotel spend is up year-on-year (12% and 9% respectively).
The leisure industry experienced a 6% increase in spending in Q2 compared to Q2 2016 and a 9.5% spike since the last quarter.
The grocery sector has gained some momentum, with spending up 3% in Q2 compared to this time last year, and 6% up on the last quarter as the combination of hot weather and food inflation lift supermarket sales.
The findings come from purchase intelligence platform Cardlytics’ Spending Index.
Pete Gleason, president of international operations at Cardlytics, said: “This data shows just how much the UK loves eating out. Even amid a squeeze on household finances, spending in restaurants and cafes continues to go from strength to strength.
“The increased demand is good for hospitality but with the sector set for further growth in the form of increased competition, brands will have to work even harder to stand out and attract new customers.
“But elsewhere, with consumers cutting back on spending it’s clear that brands will have to adjust to a new normal of low spending growth and focus on offering value.”