Cash-conscious diners still spending more in restaurants

Restaurant spending rises 16% in April

UK restaurants and pubs saw a double-digit rise in spending in April, despite consumers continuing to cut back on non-essential items.

According to data from Barclaycard, the Bank Holiday boost saw spending in restaurants increase 16.5% year-on-year, while pubs saw a 20.4% rise.

The hospitality industry defied an overall slowdown on spending on ‘non-essential’ items, which saw growth drop from 4.8% in March to 3.7% in April.

Barclaycard said consumers had showed they were still willing to spend on experiences such as eating out, despite shoppers increasingly becoming more careful with their finances.

“The relatively dry and warm weather [in April] was a natural benefit to pubs, restaurants and garden centres, giving consumers the opportunity to treat themselves where they felt comfortable doing so,” said Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard.

A Barclaycard survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 21% were planning to spend more on experiences such as eating out in May, but 67% would be seeking out more budget options.

“Despite growth across a number of categories, the spending picture in real terms is one of growing caution, as seen by declining confidence levels amongst the UK’s consumers,” said Lockstone.

“With a renewed focus on value for money it is likely that consumers will need to make necessary adjustments to their monthly budgets in a bid to balance essential and discretionary spending.”

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