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Restaurant Insights 2020 report launched

by Sophie Haigh | Jan 21, 2020
Brits eat out on 2.4 billion occasions during a single year according to new research by Paymentsense, with young people most likely to dine out on a regular basis.

Based on a detailed analysis of over 70,000 businesses, plus interviews with 350 British restaurant owners and 2,085 consumers, the new findings will help to form a new annual market report outlining what British consumers want from restaurants.

Almost half of young families, young couples and people under 35 living in shared accommodation say they eat out once a week, with that percentage falling to a quarter for baby boomers and retirees.

With 35 million adults eating out in the morning every year in the UK, the demand for breakfast and brunch was twice as strong for millennials. The report comments that “restaurants should consider marketing to families with small children as they are just as likely as young couples to eat out for breakfast.” 94% of people dine out in the evening, whilst lunch is almost as popular amongst the general population at 93%.

Sunday lunch makes up a huge chunk of consumer spend at 40% and whilst Saturday may bring in more sales, Sunday is when restaurants can claim £4 out of every £10 that consumers spend, compared with £2.30 the rest of the week. Members of the public also spend around 12% more on average in winter and on special occasions such as Valentine’s Day (+8%), Mother’s Day (+9%) and bank holiday weekends (+18%).

Having an up-to-date website and appearing on review sites will attract the attention of 40% of consumers, whilst offering multiple booking options appeals to 91% of consumers wanting to reserve a table. 67% of consumers also claimed that word of mouth influences their choices, demonstrating how “creating positive experiences can grow a restaurant’s customer base.” The report recommends that “restaurants should spend 2/3rds of their budget on digital media.”

In terms of taste, British food remains the nation’s favourite restaurant cuisine ahead of Italian, Chinese and Indian. There is however a divide amongst the generations and genders, with females preferring Italian food and the younger generations frequenting Japanese and Indian restaurants more often.

The biggest niggle for consumers is waiting too long for food (59%), followed closely by rude staff (51%) - an issue that was raised by a remarkably similar percentage of people across all life stages. 18% of consumers also stated that waiting to pay the bill is among their top frustrations – a problem that could easily be reduced by bringing the card machine out with the bill for the 80% of diners who pay by card.

One clear example of how restaurants can stand out and gain loyal customers is by offering a unique experience – 38% of diners would pay for such a service.

Knowing your customer habits goes a long way in adapting to their needs and building a loyal following. Despite it being a turbulent time for the restaurant industry, the findings are hopeful and demonstrate the ways in which restaurateurs can evolve. To read the report in full, click here


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