Fewer than 1 in 5 to dine out for Valentine’s

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Broken-hearted: Most consumers will not eat or drink out for Valentine's (Getty/ Nevena1987)
Broken-hearted: Most consumers will not eat or drink out for Valentine's (Getty/ Nevena1987)

Related tags Food Gastropub

Under a fifth of customers (17%) are looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day by dining out, research by guest experience management expert HGEM has revealed.

Youngest customers are most likely to go out on 14 Feb, with nearly one in three Gen-Z (29%) and Millennial (28%) of survey respondents planning to visit a hospitality venue.  

Recent research revealed Gen Z to be driving the recovery​ of the on trade. The research, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of SevenRooms, found of the 2,008 people aged 16 and over surveyed, younger customers were spending an average of £68.02 a week in restaurants, pubs, and bars, while those aged between 35 and 44 spent an average of £45.75, decreasing to £21.52 for participants aged 55 and over. 

The HGEM consumer survey also showed that figure drop sharply in older age groups. 19% of 36 to 45-year-olds, 12% of 46 to 55-year-olds and only 6% of 56 to 65 year-olds expected to go out for food or drink. 

Only on occasion

There is a positive spike in the 66 and over age group, as 14% are planning on celebrating Valentine’s Day in a hospitality setting. 

HGEM’s data suggests more popular occasions for customers to go out to hospitality venues are birthdays (86% of consumers are expecting to go out to celebrate), spending quality time with family (67%) and anniversaries (51%).  

Dining out has become more of an ‘occasion’​ for guests as the cost-of-living crisis bites. This means consumers are cutting back on when they go out, but expecting a higher quality of food and service when they chose to eat out. 

Winter woes

Despite this, the festive trading period was worse than predicted​ for two in five pubs. The majority of the 115 operators that responded to the poll by The Morning Advertiser (43%) found Christmas trade to be poorer than expected. 

This comes after the sector was hit by the triple whammy of rail strikes, soaring energy prices and the cost-of-living crisis over December in what UKHospitality dubbed​​ “a winter challenge like no other”.  

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