Audit tax and consulting service RSM’s ‘Who are today’s consumers?’ research also found that more than half (59%) of the 2,000 respondents said they will spend the same and 12% said they would spend more.
However, this 12% more than doubles to 26% when the survey asked Millennials about their future spending habits.
More good news is that just 19% of the Millennials included in the survey said they will be spending less on eating and drinking out this year, while 51% will spend the same.
The survey also found 81% of consumers look at online review sites such as TripAdvisor before eating out.
RSM has issued advice to operators on how to thrive in uncertain times. This was focusing on niche offers meaning quality and not quantity is key.
Single-item menus, multi-sensory experiences or new cuisines will help boost footfall in bars and restaurants.
Also, as consumers become more cost-conscious, it can be tempting to reduce prices but operators must be careful as the wrong discounting approach can erode a brand and margins.
Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy. They track sales periods using readily downloadable apps and only buy when prices drop.
Introducing targeted discounts for a fixed period will help protect operators. Businesses need to plan, link discounts to customer loyalty data and protect their full-price margins if they are to weather a landscape where budgeting becomes standard practice for many.