The latest Greene King Tracker has shown a fall in spend across eating and drinking in September, both year-on-year and compared to August.

While there was no change in the headline leisure spend figure for September of £208, compared to last year, that figure was a 6% decrease on August. Average eating out spend of £84.41 was 3% down on last year and fell 5% compared to last month. Drinking out spend at £44.05 was down 3% and 1% respectively.

The Leisure Spend Tracker showed a notable fall in leisure spend year-on-year among households where the respondent was aged over 55. The report suggests that those with an older age profile are responsible for holding back spend growth across British households.

Households in London and the South East increased their spend on out of home leisure by £9 (4%), compared with last year, offsetting a decline of £3 (1%) among households in the rest of Britain.

Eating out spend was up 3% year-on-year (£3) in London and the South East, while across the country spend was down 6% (£5). In eating out spend it was households with children who reduced spend most drastically - cutting 17% compared to August. Among households without children spend fell just 1% (£1).

In drinking out spend was up 5% in London and the South East and down 7% elsewhere.

Greene King’s marketing director Fiona Gunn said: “We are continuing to see a growing disparity in spending on Eating Out between London and the South East and the rest of the Great Britain. The Eating Out market in the capital has continued to grow and this could be due to real earnings growth being felt more keenly in London and the South East, compared to the rest of the country.”

The latest tracker also shows that Brits have a mixed reaction to Halloween, with 52% saying they have never got involved in the day and will not this year. A further 14% claim to have celebrated the event in the past, but are making no plans to do so this time round.

The Tracker also suggests that this is a day for families with more than half of those living with kids expecting to celebrate Halloween. However, only three in 10 of those expect to go trick or treating with the preferred option to stay at home.

Those living in households without kids report the pub will be the first choice leisure venue for Halloween, more popular than nightclubs, the cinema and restaurants combined.

Gunn said: “Halloween is typically loved across the pond, and while we know it’s a celebration that is growing in popularity in Britain, the latest Leisure Spend Tracker has revealed 52% of Brits find it a real horror, saying they have never celebrated it. It seems when it comes to Halloween, you either love it or you hate it.

“Halloween is widely celebrated at home, and supermarkets have capitalised on this opportunity in recent years, selling costumes, toys and decorations. We know from the report that one in eight people who celebrate Halloween plan to do so at the pub, so we think it’s a great opportunity for the licensed trade to take advantage of this growing occasion and treat their customers to a thriller night.”

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