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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 14th Dec 2023 - Rekom UK: People spending less on a late-night out, being less spontaneous, consuming less alcohol
Rekom UK – people spending less on a late-night out, being less spontaneous, consuming less alcohol: For the first time in over a year, people are spending less on a late night out, according to the quarterly survey by late-night operator Rekom UK. The company’s latest Night Index – which surveyed a sample of 2,252 18+ year olds, including 1,000 18-21 year olds and 500 students, from 13 to 17 November 2023, revealed that total spend on a night out has decreased by 2.1% to £73.19 per person on average, more in line with expenditures in autumn last year (October 2022: £73.36). Despite this, pricing remains the top concern for nearly half (44.9%) of consumers when deciding to go on a night out. The Index also found that while students used to go out during the week, for over two thirds (67.9%) of students, Saturday has pipped Friday to be the most popular day of the week to go out. At the same time, it found that low- or no-alcohol offerings are increasingly prominent as nearly half of those surveyed (45.9%) regularly go on a night out without consuming alcohol. This was particularly prevalent for those aged 25-34 (54.3%), while over half (52%) said that they now consume less alcohol on a night out compared to a year ago. This rose to 59.7% for 25-34 year olds, and among students it was 48.5%. Additionally, the survey found that social media platforms are fast becoming the go-to for many customers in how they choose a night out, with a quarter choosing Instagram (25.1%) and TikTok (24%). For students, TikTok was the most popular platform. Peter Marks, chairman of Rekom UK, said: “Over the past year or so, there has been a clear and fundamental shift in people’s socialising habits, as a direct impact of the cost-of-living crisis. People are still going out less and spending less money. The high rents, which haven’t adjusted for the tough economic conditions affecting businesses across the sector, make for difficult trading. We have had to think prudently about our business decisions, whether that’s choosing to no longer open early midweek to focusing our efforts on the bar sector, which offers an extended trading timeframe and appeals to a broader demographic.” The survey also found that pre-drink spend decreased by 2.5% to £12.97 (July 2023: £13.31), transport spend by 5.5% to £12.77 (July 2023: £13.51), entry fee spend by 6.2% to £10.81 (July 2023: £11.53), and drinks in venue by 1.2% to £18.92 (July 2023: £19.16). Food spend was the only category to increase, by 2.6% to £17.72 (July 2023: £17.26). Pricing remains the most important factor for respondents (44.9%), largely unchanged from 45.1% in July 2023, while 58% go out at least once a week, an 8.9% decrease from 66.9% in July 2023. Amongst 18-24 year olds, this is 69.2%, a 5.7% decrease from 74.9% in July 2023.  Russell Quelch, operations director at REKOM UK, added: “We’re adapting our offering accordingly to meet these changes in consumer demand, and we are prioritising our bars where the space is multi-functional. By providing areas for dining, drinks and dancing, we can accommodate a diverse range of preferences and cater to everyone’s needs.”

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