Greene King Leisure Tracker

Poor weather to blame for decline in drinking out

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

Greene King reports poor weather to blame for decline in drinking out

Related tags: Rugby world cup, Rugby union, United kingdom

Poor weather in July has been blamed for a sharp decline in drinking out spend and a rise in eating out.

The latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker showed that average household spend on leisure in July was £205.87 – down 4% against June but up 2% year-on-year.

This month’s Tracker also highlights the opportunity for the sector presented by the Rugby World Cup with one in ten people planning to watch a game in the pub.

Average household spend on eating out for the month was £84.25 – down 2% against June but up 11% year-on-year. Drinking out spend of £44.04 was down 7% month-on-month and 4% compared to last year.

The regional breakdown of the figures shows that households in London and the south east reduced their spend on leisure by 2% year-on-year, compared to the rest of the country where spend rose 4%.

The spend on eating out showed a similar pattern – up 6% in London and the south east and 14% across the UK. The decline in drinking out was marginally greater in London and the south east.

Year-on-year family households reduced their total leisure spend by 4% while those without children increased their spend by the same percentage.

Fiona Gunn, Greene King marketing director, said: “Strong year-on-year growth of 11% shows that poor weather failed to dampen the appetite for eating out among British households in July, but did limit the appeal of drinking out and other leisure, which both saw similar declines in spending of 4%.

"Despite a mixed picture, modest growth in overall leisure spending mirrors the ongoing resilience in consumer confidence despite underlying sources of uncertainty at home and abroad.”

On sport viewing, the report highlighted the pub as the second most likely place for British adults to watch a Rugby World Cup game, after the home but ahead of friends and family members’ homes. Its poll showed that unsurprisingly football is the most popular sport to watch in a pub or bar, chosen by 17% of people, close to three times the number for rugby. Tennis (4%), cricket (3%) and golf (2%) followed with sports such as boxing, motor sport and athletics all attracting just 1%.

Gunn said: “Major international sporting events regularly encourage Brits to go to the pub, and the Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker shows that the Rugby World Cup will be no exception. With the tournament being hosted in England for the first time since 1999, this competition has the potential to capture the hearts and minds of the British public. The tournament will be watched by local and international fans, which could prove a real boost for pubs across the country in September, especially if the home nations do well.”

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