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Consumers are 'reluctant to cut back on eating out'

26 | 07 | 13

The British public are still keen to eat out despite the tough economic climate, a new study has revealed. 

Research by Deloitte's Consumer Tracker showed that while spending is some way off pre-recession levels, people are increasingly prepared to engage in leisure activities such as visiting a restaurant. 

Catering equipment companies will be pleased to hear this, as it increases the chances of businesses in the eating out industry opening more venues and investing in new equipment.

The organisation found consumer optimism is at its highest level since the tracker began in 2011. Its sentiment index has risen to - 29 per cent, compared to - del hyphs 36 per cent at this time last year. 

This increase in confidence has been driven by economic improvements and the fact people's debt concerns have almost halved since last year. 

In light of this, net spend on eating out has increased by four points from -17 per cent in 2012 to -13 per cent.

However, Deloitte stressed consumer spending is still well below the rates seen before the financial crisis and this is unlikely to change in the next few years.

Graham Pickett, Deloitte head of travel, hospitality and leisure, commented: "Though the consumer mood is cautious, their sentiment is gradually beginning to improve."

Jon Lake, a corporate finance director in the licensed retail group at the organisation, added: "Consumers have been reluctant to cut back on eating out and the slow return of consumer confidence will be welcomed by the restaurant sector."

He claimed it is companies and brands that "consistently deliver quality of product and service" that are showing the best level of performance and being rewarded by a loyal consumer base.

Deloitte's report is one of a series of announcements that signal a positive outlook for the catering industry in the second half of 2013. 

Earlier this month, the most recent Peach Coffer Business Tracker showed like-for-like sales are up on last year and the NPD Group has released a study that revealed there has been an increase in lunchtime trade.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801617478-ADNFCR

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