New research reveals Britons prioritise going out despite economic pressures

Two-thirds of consumers say that eating and drinking out remains as central to their social life as ever.
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Research from Zonal’s latest GO Technology report in partnership with CGA by NIQ and UKHospitality, reveals that despite the cost-of-living crisis, eating and drinking out remains as important to Britons as ever, with 65% of consumers saying it’s still a priority for them. This rises to 71% of those aged 65+, highlighting the sector’s enduring social value.


The survey of more than 5,000 British adults shines a light on why people still love restaurants, pubs, and bars, and what makes hospitality special. Most consumers (74%) believe hospitality needs and deserves support from the government, the research revealed.


The latest figures also found that three in five (60%) consumers want to support the sector themselves, with regular visitors even more likely to show their backing (72%), and two-thirds (64%) believe that hospitality plays an important role in their local community, rising to 71% of consumers who visit weekly.



When asked what the main reasons are for going out for food and drink, the following reasons came out on top: 


1 To socialise with friends and family (50%)

2 To celebrate a special occasion (44%)

3 As a treat (41%)

4= To create new memories (21%) 

4= To try new food or drink (21%) 

5 To relax or let off steam (20%)


The research also highlights the importance of consistency and delivering the fundamentals, with the top three motivating factors to ensure return visits being the quality of food, great service, and the experience being value for money.


Commenting on the findings, Tim Chapman, Chief Commercial Officer Zonal, said: “Despite a squeeze on spending, hospitality is and remains an integral part of Britain’s social life, with socialising with friends and celebrating special moments, topping the list of consumers priorities when it comes to eating and drinking out.


“Delivering special experiences that can’t be recreated at home and consistently delivering on the fundamentals of hospitality — like high-quality, good-value food and drink and excellent service — is key to encouraging repeat visits and driving loyalty. This is easier said than done, but operators who invest in their teams and the technology that is needed to smooth workflows and increase efficiencies, will ultimately reap the rewards.”


Karl Chessell, Director – Hospitality Operators and Food, EMEA, CGA by NIQ added: “This research is a timely reminder of hospitality’s special place in people’s hearts. Eating and drinking out isn’t just a nice-to-have but an essential part of life, even — or perhaps especially — during a cost-of-living crisis. Spending may have been muted for some people in recent years, but as inflation hopefully eases and they start to feel more cash in their pockets, we can be optimistic that it will pick up as 2024 goes on.


“It’s also encouraging to see how people’s affection for hospitality translates into support. They recognise the value of restaurants, pubs and bars in their communities and as employers, and they want to see them thrive. Along with hospitality’s own campaigns, it makes a compelling case for government support.”



Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “We can clearly see from this new research the support and affection people have for hospitality and that they recognise the vital role venues play at the heart of their communities and high streets.


“We have proven time and time again that with the right support in place, even when times are at their toughest, we have the creativity and commitment to invest in local areas, create jobs and drive growth right across the country.


“So our message to Government, backed by three-quarters of the public, is to support hospitality or risk more businesses having to close their doors.”



GO Technology is based on an exclusive survey of 5,000 nationally representative British consumers. To discuss the research and ways CGA by NIQ helps businesses drive loyalty, email client director Andy Dean at    

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