Skip to content

Young diners 'are key to eating out sector'

24 | 07 | 13

As the UK's economic climate continues to remain challenging, businesses in the eating out sector constantly need to be on the lookout for new ways to increase trade and get more customers through the door. 

Appealing to young diners may be an ideal way of doing this, as a recent report from Horizons has revealed this demographic is becoming increasingly important to the industry.

Youngsters boost the market

Horizons' latest QuickBite survey showed people under the age of 34 are most likely to eat out. In a poll of more than 2,000 adults of varying ages, 75 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 76 per cent of individuals aged between 25 and 34 said they had purchased a meal away from home in the last two weeks. This is noticeably higher than the average of 67 per cent for all adults.

In terms of how often they dine out, 18 to 24-year-olds had typically done so 2.06 times in the last two weeks, while those aged between 25 and 34 had visited a restaurant on 2.32 occasions on average.

The amount Britons spend in a restaurant has increased as a result of the growing number of young people choosing to eat out. Average spend including drinks has risen from £12.30 to £13.30, according to Horizons' findings.

Compensating for the squeezed middle

Restaurants and other businesses in the sector will certainly welcome this growth in custom from young people, as trade from the so called 'squeezed middle' of 35 to 54-year-olds has declined. 

The survey found the typical spend by Britons aged between 45 and 54 has fallen from £13.86 to £13.65 year-on-year. This group is also the least likely to eat out, with only 39 per cent having done so in the past two weeks. 

Meanwhile the number of 35 to 44-year-olds who visit restaurants has dropped from 70 per cent in 2012 to 68 per cent.

Horizons’ director of services Nicola Knight commented: "Diners continue to spend more when they do eat out but the squeezed middle … are most likely to be watching their spending and are eating out less frequently than they did although they spend the most when they do dine out."

QSR boost

The report also revealed more people are opting to go to quick service restaurants (QSR). Visits to these venues has increased by three per cent year-on-year and accounted for 35 per cent of total trips to eat out. Meanwhile, 46 per cent of the people surveyed had attended a restaurant or pub restaurant. 

These findings concur with the verdict of a recent report by the NPD Group, which claimed QSRs are benefiting most from an increase in lunchtime trade.

In her concluding thoughts on the results of the Horizons survey, Ms Knight stated: "Outlets still need to work hard to attract diners and be mindful of catering for the demands of their target audience. 

"The 18 to 24-year-olds are the higher spending diners of the future, so it is good they have an established eating out habit which is likely to continue as they get older."ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801616231-ADNFCR

PageID: 9

BasketID: 0

AgentID: 371

VisitorID: 0