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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 19th Apr 2016 - Greene King Leisure Tracker – eating and drinking out boosts March leisure spend
Greene King Leisure Tracker – early Easter boosts leisure spend in March driven by eating and drinking out: An early Easter provided a boost to leisure spend in March driven by people eating and drinking out, according to the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker. The average leisure spend rose to £216 last month, an increase of £20, or 10%, compared with the same period last year. The figure also represented a £34, or 19%, increase against February, during which many households curtailed their spending following a busy Christmas period. Leisure spending on eating out saw the largest rise in March, increasing by £14, or 18%, year-on-year. This was largely driven by the Good Friday weather and the Easter school holidays, which encouraged many British households to dine out together over the long weekend. Eating out remains the main leisure activity British households spend the most money on, increasing its share of spend mix from 40% to 43% year-on-year. Brits spent an extra £5, or 12%, on drinking out in March compared with the same period last year. While both households with and without children increased their spending evenly by £5, or 12%, over the period, there were notable differences across the country. Those in London and the south east increased their spending on drinking out by £11, or 25%, which was substantially more than households in the rest of Great Britain, which increased their spend by £3, or 6%, year-on-year. The Cheltenham Festival boosted other leisure spending in March while gambling at a casino and other gaming increased by £3, or 25%, compared with February, contributing to a slight 2% increase in other leisure spending year-on-year. Households without children increased their total leisure spending in March by £15 (8%) year-on-year, with households with children increasing spending by £38 (18%). Spending on live sports events has fallen in 2016, sustaining a year-on-year decrease of £3 (20%) in the three months to March. A new trend of “lads who lunch” also emerged, with 43% of men surveyed stating their weekend pub visit is mainly to have lunch with friends and family. Only 19% said their visit was to watch sport on television, while 4% said it was to play pub games, like pool. Greene King group marketing director Fiona Gunn said: “Easter falling early this year saw many British households increase their leisure spending across the board, particularly in eating out. There was also the excitement of the Cheltenham Festival, which boosted other leisure spending, and the fact that the school holidays allowed many families to enjoy some quality time together out of home.”

Research shows restaurants may be missing out on craft beer boom: New independent research released by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has shown more than one in three people would visit restaurants more often if they served a range of craft-brewed British beer. The organisation said despite the growth in the popularity of craft-brewed beer, the majority of restaurants in the UK were not meeting the consumer demand. SIBA added it would like to set up meetings with small and large restaurant chains to offer them a solution that suits their business so they can benefit from the growing interest in craft brewed beer. SIBA is also encouraging its brewing members to use this research to open doors with their own local, independent restaurants. Nick Stafford, SIBA’s operations director, said: “Craft-brewed beer is growing in popularity across the UK and the restaurants that have recognised this and started to serve a range of interesting, flavoursome beers have thrived. Unfortunately though most restaurants don’t put in the same effort when it comes to beer as they do when selecting their wine list, something our new research suggests could be seriously damaging their commercial potential. This new research shows that over a third of people would visit restaurants more if they served craft-brewed beer. It seems consumers are wanting more than the traditional brands associated with perhaps an Indian or Italian restaurant. SIBA has access to thousands of different beers and therefore we would like to work with restaurants in the UK to create the right beer solutions for their businesses.”

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